Aim: to investigate differences in sleeping behaviors in school-aged children between urban and rural Chinese communities.Methods: Children aged between 6 and 12 years old were selected from rural (n=472), and urban communities (n=576). Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) was completed by the parents to assess sleep patterns and sleep problems of the children. Results: In the 6-8 and 9-12 years groups, the average sleep time in urban children was shorter than in the children from rural areas (9.0±1.1 vs 11.3±1.1 h, and 9.2±1.0 vs 10.2±0.9 h, respectively, all P<0.01). The rate of abnormal sleep behavior in the urban and rural cohort was 82.8% and 70.1%, respectively (P<0.05). The prevalence of sleep delays in the 6-8 year old children from urban areas was higher than in the rural areas (60.3% vs 40.3%, P<0.01). In the urban 9-12 years group, the rate of daytime sleepiness was higher than in the rural group (52.6% vs 26.8%, P<0.01), whereas the night waking rate was lower (43.8% vs 58.6%, P<0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the location of the residence, mother's age, parent's sleep habits and education levels predict the sleeping problems in these children. Conclusion: Children from urban communities appear to have sleeping problems than children from a rural setting. Parent's sleep habits, education levels and the location of children's residence have significant impact on the children's sleep behavior and habits.