Background: Sleep in preschool children is an important factor for their health and active lives. The lack of adequate sleep in preschool children is a serious public problem in Japan. The relationship between health literacy (HL) and health status is well recognized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between the sleep duration of preschool children and the HL of their parents. Methods: In the present study, participants were preschool children (3–6 years) and their parents. We assessed the HL of the parents with the 14-item Health Literacy Scale (HLS-14) questionnaire. Sleep duration of the children was reported by their parents. We divided parents into two groups according to HLS-14 score and analyzed children’s sleeping time separately. Results: Data from 279 parents and their children were ultimately analyzed. The high HL group comprised 210 families (75.3%) and the low HL group comprised 69 families (24.7%). Average children’s sleep duration was significantly longer in the high HL group (9.5 ± 0.9 h) than in the low HL group (9.1 ± 1.1 h) (p
= 0.013). A positive correlation was found in the low HL group between parents’ HL and their children’s sleeping times (p
< 0.01, r = 0.32) but the difference was not significant in the high HL group (p
= 0.98, r = −0.0009). Conclusion: The HL of parents appears to affect their children’s sleep duration, suggesting that parental HL may be an appropriate target for interventions aiming to lengthen children’s sleeping time.
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