Variations in longitudinal sleep duration trajectories from infancy to early childhood

Elaine K.H. Tham, Hai Yan Xu, Xiuju Fu, Nora Schneider, Daniel Y.T. Goh, Ngee Lek, Rick S.M. Goh, Shirong Cai, Birit F.P. Broekman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study investigates variations in night, day, and total sleep trajectories across infancy and childhood in Asian children. Participants: Participants consisted of a subset of 901 children, within the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort, which recruited 1247 pregnant women between June 2009 and September 2010. Design: We used a novel conditional probabilistic trajectory model: a probabilistic model for mixture distribution, allowing different trajectory curves and model variances among groups to cluster longitudinal observations. Longitudinal sleep duration data for the trajectory analyses were collected from caregiver-reported questionnaires at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, and 54 months. Results: We found 3 patterns of night sleep trajectories (n = 356): long consistent (31%), moderate consistent (41%), and short variable (28%); and 4 patterns of day sleep trajectories (n = 347): long variable (21%), long consistent (20%), moderate consistent (34%), and short consistent (25%). We also identified 4 patterns of total sleep trajectories (n = 345): long variable (19%), long consistent (26%), moderate consistent (28%), and short variable (27%). Short, moderate, and long trajectories differed significantly in duration. Children with consistent trajectories also displayed sleep patterns that were significantly more representative of typical developmental sleep patterns than children with variable trajectories. Conclusions: This is the first study to describe multiple sleep trajectories in Singaporean children and identify between-individual variability within the trajectory groups. Compared to predominantly Caucasian samples, night/total sleep trajectories were generally shorter, while day sleep trajectories were longer. Future studies should investigate how these variations are linked to different developmental outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Child sleep
  • Clustering
  • Infant sleep
  • Longitudinal sleep
  • Sleep trajectories
  • Statistics

Cite this