The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of sleeping hours of young children as reported by their parents. The subjects were 21 healthy children aged 3 to 4 years. They were asked to attach a small instrument for calculating sleeping hours objectively, over 3 consecutive nights. Parents reported the sleeping hours of their children during the study periods. The mean values were used in the analysis. Pearson's correlation coefficients and paired t-tests were used to evaluate the correlations and differences between the reported and objectively measured sleeping hours. The correlation coefficient and difference between the reported and assumed (objective sleeping hours representing the difference between times for falling asleep and waking) sleeping hours were 0.90 (p<0.001) and 0.79 hours (95% confidence interval: 0.59-0.99), respectively. The correlation coefficient and difference between the reported and actual (the assumed sleeping hours minus the sum of epochs being scored as awake during the assumed sleep) sleeping hours were 0.90 (p<0.001) and 0.92 hours (0.73-1.10), respectively. Although parents tended to overestimate the sleeping hours of their children, the correlation between the reported and objective sleeping hours is high, which indicates that reported sleeping hours could be used in a survey that requires data on relative differences in sleeping hours amongst a given population.
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