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Gruber Reut and Bergmame Lana
Sleep is essential for optimal child and adolescent health, development, and academic performance. Lifestyle habits significantly influence child and adolescent sleep regulation, conferring either positive or negative effects on the attainment of sufficient and high-quality sleep. The primary objective of this paper is, thus, to review the lifestyle factors which may disrupt a child’s sleep, on the one hand, and support healthy sleep, on the other. Lifestyle factors that have been found to negatively affect children and adolescents’ sleep include: 1) exposure to modern technologies (e.g., television, computer and video games) leading to increased light exposure and night-time arousal; 2) consumption of wake-promoting substances, such as caffeine, that affect the physiological regulation of arousal and sleep; 3) consumption of late-evening meals; 4) aspects of the physical environment (e.g., air quality) that hinder sleep; and 4) cultural norms that place a low priority on sleep. Despite the negative impact of such factors on youths’ sleep, such aspects are modifiable and can be easily targeted by simple and inexpensive interventions designed to promote healthy and sufficient sleep. This review offers several strategies to guide families in modifying unhealthy sleep habits and promoting refreshing, high-quality sleep.