OD2 Pediatric sleep health: Can we define It? does It matter?


Sleep health refers to a multidimensional pattern of sleep that promotes physical and mental well-being (Buysse, 2014).  Rather than focusing on disordered sleep, sleep health offers a positive frame of reference and emphasizes wellness across five key dimensions: satisfaction, alertness, timing, efficiency, and duration. To date, research on the construct of sleep health has focused primarily on adult sleep, and the existing definition has not yet been adapted for application in pediatric populations. The purpose of this symposium is to offer an empirically driven conceptualization of pediatric sleep health and present data on the current status of sleep health and sleep health disparities in children and adolescents. Five international experts from three countries (Australia, Canada, US) will present original research. 

Dr. Lisa Meltzer will first introduce a novel conceptual model of pediatric sleep health, which adapts Buysse's original definition and proposes a sixth dimension, sleep behavior.

Dr. Sarah Honaker will present data from a novel primary computer decision support system that automates universal sleep screening and guidance in US urban primary care clinics.  She will describe components of sleep health, specifically duration, alertness, and behaviors, in a primary care sample of more than five thousand children (ages 2-18 years), as well as preliminary outcomes from brief primary care interventions to promote pediatric sleep health.

Dr. Jon Quach will summarize findings from data examining the longitudinal impact of poor sleep health on children's school outcomes. He will describe how these findings can be used to inform interventions aimed at addressing sleep problems in primary school students.

Dr. Ariel Williamson will summarize findings from data on sleep health disparities in young children and their caregivers of primarily racial/ethnic minority backgrounds and of lower socioeconomic status. She will describe associations between exposure to cumulative psychosocial risks, race/ethnicity, and sleep health behaviors. She will also discuss how these results informed Sleep Well!, an intervention to promote healthy sleep in families of racial/ethnic minority and/or lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

Finally, Dr. Penny Corkum will present the development, usability, feasibility, and pilot data from a new app-based intervention called the ABCs of SLEEPING. This app was developed incorporating an iterative and user-centered design. The primary goal is to provide parents with individualized and prioritized evidence-based sleep recommendations to promote sleep health in school-aged children.

Promoting sleep health at the population level has been proposed as a necessary strategy to achieve health equity (Hale, Troxel, & Buysse, 2020). This symposium proposes a model for pediatric sleep health, presents evidence of its impact on developmental outcomes for children, and provides examples of novel approaches to screening and intervention.  Our goal is to spark ideas for future research and clinical applications to improve sleep health in children around the world.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this CME activity, participants should be able to:

      • Define pediatric sleep health and list six proposed dimensions
      • Identify long term outcomes associated with sleep health in children
      • Describe sleep health disparities in childhood
      • List examples of strategies to identify and/or promote pediatric sleep health
      • Develop ideas for future clinical or research strategies to promote pediatric sleep health

Target Audience

Pediatric sleep researchers and clinicians, including physicians, psychologists, nurses, other allied health providers, and trainees. Public health and public policy experts and trainees


Sarah M. Honaker (United States)

Pediatric sleep health: It matters and so does how we define it

Lisa J. Meltzer (United States)

Automated assessment of pediatric sleep health in primary care

Sarah M. Honaker (United States)

Unpacking the links between poor sleep and classroom outcomes in primary schools

Jon Quach (Australia)

The ABCs of SLEEPING app for sleep health in school-aged children

Penny Corkum (Canada)

Addressing sleep health disparities in early childhood

Ariel A. Williamson (United States)

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