Compared to other health indicators, sleep is the most important.
A study presented at SLEEP 2022 found that a community’s sleep health is the most important health predictor of children’s chances of success and positive growth.
The researchers combined data from the Child Opportunity Index, which provides indices of education, health and the environment, as well as social and economic resources and conditions that affect children’s development, with neighborhood sleep health data collected by the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention.
Among a host of health variables, the research found that sleep quality was the best predictor of opportunity for children in an area, explaining 57.2 percent of the variation in the global Child Opportunity Index score. In addition, the Child Opportunity Index, which is made up of “education,” “health and environment,” and “social and economic” scores, showed that community-level sleep health was the most important predictor of each component. individual.
“The most surprising thing we found in this study was that a neighborhood’s sleep health was not only a strong predictor of all the items that make up the Children’s Opportunity Index, but it was the strongest predictor when compared to other metrics on the Child Opportunity Index. community health,” said lead author Suzanne Gorovoy, who has a doctorate in psychology and is a postdoctoral research associate in behavioral sleep medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.
The CDC statistics contained information on the population of each census tract, as well as its projected percentage of people who slept at least seven hours a night. Other health indicators evaluated included the availability of health insurance, the frequency of annual physical or dental exams, preventive care for older adults, recreational activities, mammograms, Pap tests, and the prevalence of diseases and behaviors such as arthritis, excessive alcohol consumption, hypertension and smoking.
When all other health variables were taken into account, tooth loss (an additional 15.5%), health insurance (an additional 3.0%), and asthma (an additional 1.4%) were next three largest contributors to the Child Opportunity Index.
The findings suggest that public health efforts targeting sleep health at the community level may have a disproportionately significant benefit in helping children in that community develop healthily. The study also supports the AASM’s position that sleep is essential for health.
“When neighborhoods were examined in relation to the percentage sleeping the recommended amount, as well as the levels of a wide range of other metrics, it was sleep that outperformed everyone in terms of its ability to predict that child’s opportunity index. neighborhood”. Gorov said. “In fact, sleep health alone overlapped the overall index by more than 50%. That means the sleep health of a neighborhood is an extremely powerful indicator of that neighborhood’s ability to provide good educational experiences, healthy and safe environments, and social support.”
Reference: “Child Opportunity Index and Sleep Health at the 0074 Neighborhood Level at the Census Tract Level: Comparison with Other Health Indicators” by Suzanne Gorovoy, Sydney Phan, Tommy Begay, Dora Valencia, Lauren Hale, William Killgore, Chloe Wills and Michael Grandner, May 25, 2022, SLEEP.