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1.  Pre-Sleep Arousal and Sleep Problems of Anxiety-Disordered Youth 
The current study examined sleep problems and pre-sleep arousal among 52 anxious children and adolescents, aged 7–14 years, in relation to age, sex, ethnicity, and primary anxiety disorder. Assessment included structured diagnostic interviews and parent and child completed measures of sleep problems and pre-sleep arousal. Overall, 85% of parents reported clinically-significant child sleep problems, whereas 54% of youth reported trouble sleeping. Young children, those with primary generalized anxiety disorder, and Latino youth experienced the greatest levels of sleep disturbance. Additionally, greater levels of pre-sleep cognitive rather than somatic arousal were found and pre-sleep thoughts were associated with decreased total sleep duration and greater sleep problems. Findings suggest that attention to sleep should be part of assessment procedures for anxious children in both research and clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC2818382  PMID: 19680805
Child; Adolescent; Anxiety disorders; Sleep; Pre-sleep arousal
2.  Sleep Health Issues for Children with FASD: Clinical Considerations 
This article describes the combined clinical experience of a multidisciplinary group of professionals on the sleep disturbances of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) focusing on sleep hygiene interventions. Such practical and comprehensive information is not available in the literature. Severe, persistent sleep difficulties are frequently associated with this condition but few health professionals are familiar with both FASD and sleep disorders. The sleep promotion techniques used for typical children are less suitable for children with FASD who need individually designed interventions. The types, causes, and adverse effects of sleep disorders, the modification of environment, scheduling and preparation for sleep, and sleep health for their caregivers are discussed. It is our hope that parents and also researchers, who are interested in the sleep disorders of children with FASD, will benefit from this presentation and that this discussion will stimulate much needed evidence-based research.
PMCID: PMC2913852  PMID: 20706655
3.  Sleep Lab Adaptation in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Typically Developing Children 
Sleep Disorders  2013;2013:698957.
Objectives. Research has shown inconsistencies across studies examining sleep problems in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is possible that these inconsistencies are due to sleep lab adaptation. The goal of the current study was to investigate the possibility that children with ADHD adapt differently to the sleep lab than do typically developing (TD) children. Patients and Methods. Actigraphy variables were compared between home and the sleep lab. Sleep lab adaptation reports from the parent and child were compared between children with ADHD (n = 25) and TD children (n = 25). Results. Based on actigraphy, both groups had reduced sleep duration and reduced wake after sleep onset in the sleep lab compared to home. The only interaction effect was that TD children had increased sleep efficiency in the sleep lab compared to home. Conclusions. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that children with ADHD adjust to the sleep lab differently than their typically developing peers. However, both groups of children did sleep differently in the sleep lab compared to home, and this needs to be considered when generalizing research findings from a sleep lab environment to children's sleep in general.
PMCID: PMC3666280  PMID: 23766917
4.  Sleep Patterns of Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders 
Data on sleep behavior were gathered on 100 children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), ages 2–11 years, using sleep diaries, the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), and the Parenting Events Questionnaire. Two time periods were sampled to assess short-term stability of sleep–wake patterns. Before data collection, slightly more than half of the parents, when queried, reported a sleep problem in their child. Subsequent diary and CSHQ reports confirmed more fragmented sleep in those children who were described by their parents as having a sleep problem compared to those without a designated problem. Interestingly, regardless of parental perception of problematic sleep, all children with PDD exhibited longer sleep onset times and greater fragmentation of sleep than that reported for age-matched community norms. The results demonstrate that sleep problems identified by the parent, as well as fragmentation of sleep patterns obtained from sleep diary and CSHQ data, exist in a significant proportion of children with PPD.
PMCID: PMC1201413  PMID: 12553592
Sleep; autism; neurodevelopmental disorder; night waking; behavior
5.  Sleep Patterns in Children with Cystic Fibrosis 
This study examined sleep patterns and the association between sleep and perceived health for children with and without CF. Ninety families (45 CF) completed questionnaires about the child’s sleep and health. Significant group differences were found for sleep patterns (bedtime, wake time, total sleep time), symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, and sleep disturbances. Poorer perceived health was associated with sleep disturbances among children with CF, but not for children without CF. This study highlights the importance of including sleep in the evaluation of children with CF, as both medical and behavioral interventions can improve the sleep of children with CF.
PMCID: PMC3929956  PMID: 24563574
6.  Sleep Problems in Children and Adolescents with Common Medical Conditions 
Sleep is critically important to children’s health and well-being. Untreated sleep disturbances and sleep disorders pose significant adverse daytime consequences and place children at considerable risk for poor health outcomes. Sleep disturbances occur at a greater frequency in children with acute and chronic medical conditions compared to otherwise healthy peers. Sleep disturbances in medically ill children can be associated with sleep disorders (e.g., sleep disordered breathing, restless leg syndrome), co-morbid with acute and chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, arthritis, cancer), or secondary to underlying disease-related mechanisms (e.g. airway restriction, inflammation) treatment regimens, or hospitalization. Clinical management should include a multidisciplinary approach with particular emphasis on routine, regular sleep assessments and prevention of daytime consequences and promotion of healthy sleep habits and health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3100529  PMID: 21600350
Sleep; pediatric; chronic illness
7.  Sleep disturbances in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 
In this article, we advocate the need for better understanding and treatment of children exhibiting inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive behaviors, by in-depth questioning on sleepiness, sleep-disordered breathing or problematic behaviors at bedtime, during the night and upon awakening, as well as night-to-night sleep duration variability. The relationships between sleep and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are complex and are routinely overlooked by practitioners. Motricity and somnolence, the most consistent complaints and objectively measured sleep problems in children with ADHD, may develop as a consequence of multidirectional and multifactorial pathways. Therefore, subjectively perceived or reported restless sleep should be evaluated with specific attention to restless legs syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder, and awakenings should be queried with regard to parasomnias, dyssomnias and sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep hygiene logs detailing sleep onset and offset quantitatively, as well as qualitatively, are required. More studies in children with ADHD are needed to reveal the 24-h phenotype, or its sleep comorbidities.
PMCID: PMC3129712  PMID: 21469929
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; insomnia; limit-setting disorder; restless legs; sleep-disordered breathing
8.  Sleep Apnea Syndrome 
Western Journal of Medicine  1975;123(1):7-16.
Of 250 patients referred to the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, 35 were diagnosed for a sleep induced apnea syndrome. Thirty of them (27 adults and 3 children) were nonobese and complained of a sleep disorder. In 12 patients (9 adults and 3 children) extensive cardiorespiratory workups were done during sleep and wakefulness. Three types of sleep induced apnea syndrome were identified: diaphragmatic (or central), obstructive and mixed. The diaphragmatic type was predominant in sleep apnea insomnia; obstructive was predominant in sleep apnea hypersomnia. Hemodynamic changes were documented during sleep. Tracheostomy, done in two cases, improved the sleep induced symptomatology.
PMCID: PMC1130333  PMID: 1154791
9.  Sleep habits and sleep disturbances in Dutch children: a population-based study 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2010;169(8):1009-1015.
Sleep disorders can lead to significant morbidity. Information on sleep in healthy children is necessary to evaluate sleep disorders in clinical practice, but data from different societies cannot be simply generalized. The aims of this study were to (1) assess the prevalence of sleep disturbances in Dutch healthy children, (2) describe sleep habits and problems in this population, (3) collect Dutch norm data for future reference, and (4) compare sleep in children from different cultural backgrounds. A population-based descriptive study was conducted using the Children’s sleep habits questionnaire and the sleep self-report. One thousand five hundred seven proxy-reports and 262 self-reports were analyzed. Mean age was 8.5 years (95% confidence interval, 8.4–8.6), 52% were boys. Sleep problems in Dutch children were present in 25%, i.e., comparable to other populations. Sleep habits were age-related. Problem sleepers scored significantly higher on all scales. Correlations between parental and self-assessments were low to moderate. Dutch children had significantly more sleep disturbances than children from the USA and less than Chinese children. Cognitions and attitudes towards what is considered normal sleep seem to affect the appraisal of sleep, this probably accounts partly for cultural differences. For a better understanding of cultural influences on sleep, more information on these determinants and the establishment of cultural norms are mandatory.
PMCID: PMC2890079  PMID: 20191392
Sleep; Children’s sleep habits questionnaire (CSHQ); Sleep self-report (SSR); Cultural comparison; Dutch
10.  Are sleep problems under-recognised in general practice? 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2004;89(8):708-712.
Aims: To evaluate the frequency of sleep problems in Australian children aged 4.5–16.5 years, and to determine whether the frequency of sleep problems on questionnaire predicts the reporting of sleep problems at consultation.
Methods: Parents of 361 children (aged 4.5–16.5 years) attending their general practitioner for "sick" visits were asked to assess their child's sleep over the previous six months using the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children, from which six sleep "disorder" factors and a total sleep problem score were obtained.
Results: The percentage of children with a total sleep problem score indicative of clinical significance (T score >70 or >95th centile) was 24.6% (89/361). Despite this high frequency, parents only addressed sleep problems in 4.1% (13/317) of cases and reported that GPs discussed sleep problems in 7.9% (25/317) of cases. Of the 79 children who reported total sleep problem T scores in the clinical range, only 13.9% (11/79) discussed sleep with their general practitioner within the previous 12 months. Regression analyses revealed an age related decrease in problems with sleep-wake transition and sleep related obstructive breathing; sleep hyperhydrosis, initiating and maintaining sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness did not significantly decrease with age. No significant gender differences were observed.
Conclusions: Results suggest that chronic sleep problems in Australian children are significantly under-reported by parents during general practice consultations despite a relatively high frequency across all age groups. Given the impact on children and families, there is a need for increased awareness of children's sleep problems in the community and for these to be more actively addressed at consultation.
PMCID: PMC1720041  PMID: 15269066
11.  Contributions of circadian tendencies and behavioral problems to sleep onset problems of children with ADHD 
BMC Psychiatry  2012;12:212.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two to three times more likely to experience sleep problems. The purpose of this study is to determine the relative contributions of circadian preferences and behavioral problems to sleep onset problems experienced by children with ADHD and to test for a moderation effect of ADHD diagnosis on the impact of circadian preferences and externalizing problems on sleep onset problems.
After initial screening, parents of children meeting inclusion criteria documented child bedtime over 4 nights, using a sleep log, and completed questionnaires regarding sleep, ADHD and demographics to assess bedtime routine prior to PSG. On the fifth night of the study, sleep was recorded via ambulatory assessment of sleep architecture in the child’s natural sleep environment employing portable polysomnography equipment. Seventy-five children (26 with ADHD and 49 controls) aged 7–11 years (mean age 8.61 years, SD 1.27 years) participated in the present study.
In both groups of children, externalizing problems yielded significant independent contributions to the explained variance in parental reports of bedtime resistance, whereas an evening circadian tendency contributed both to parental reports of sleep onset delay and to PSG-measured sleep-onset latency. No significant interaction effect of behavioral/circadian tendency with ADHD status was evident.
Sleep onset problems in ADHD are related to different etiologies that might require different interventional strategies and can be distinguished using the parental reports on the CSHQ.
PMCID: PMC3534002  PMID: 23186226
Sleep onset insomnia; Externalizing problems; Sleep problems; ADHD; Circadian tendencies; Behavioral problems
12.  Habitual snoring and atopic state: correlations with respiratory function and teeth occlusion 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:175.
Allergy represents a risk factor at the base of sleep-disordered breathing in pediatric age. Among allergic diseases, the atopy is characterized by a tendency to be “hyperallergic.” Sleep-disordered breathing is also known in orthodontics as correlated with the morphology of craniofacial complex. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between atopy and sleep-disordered breathing (oral breathers with habitual snoring), comparing atopic children with sleep-disordered breathing (test group) with nonatopic ones with sleep-disordered breathing (control group), in the prevalence of dento-skeletal alterations and other risk factors that trigger sleep-disordered breathing, such as adenotonsillar hypertrophy, turbinate hypertrophy, obesity, and alteration of oxygen arterial saturation.
In a group of 110 subjects with sleep-disordered breathing (6 to 12 years old), we grouped the subjects into atopic (test group, 60 subjects) and nonatopic (control group, 50 subjects) children and compared the data on the following: skin allergic tests, rhinoscopy, rhinomanometry, night home pulsoxymetry, body mass index, and dento-facial alterations.
Even if our results suggest that atopy is not a direct risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing, the importance of a physiologic nasal respiration in the pathogenesis of sleep-disordered breathing seems to be demonstrated in our study by the higher prevalence of hypertrophy in the adenotonsillar lymphatic tissue, odontostomatological alterations, alterations of the oxygen saturation to pulsoxymetry, and higher prevalence of obesity observed in our children with sleep-disordered breathing, in percentages higher than that of the general pediatric population previously observed in the literature.
The importance of a physiologic nasal respiration in the pathogenesis of sleep-disordered breathing is demonstrated in our study.
PMCID: PMC3506469  PMID: 23134563
Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB); Atopy; Dento-facial morphology; Allergy; Oral breathing; Snoring
13.  Parasomnias and sleep disordered breathing in Caucasian and Hispanic children – the Tucson children's assessment of sleep apnea study 
BMC Medicine  2004;2:14.
Recent studies in children have demonstrated that frequent occurrence of parasomnias is related to increased sleep disruption, mental disorders, physical harm, sleep disordered breathing, and parental duress. Although there have been several cross-sectional and clinical studies of parasomnias in children, there have been no large, population-based studies using full polysomnography to examine the association between parasomnias and sleep disordered breathing. The Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea study is a community-based cohort study designed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of objectively measured sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in pre-adolescent children six to 11 years of age. This paper characterizes the relationships between parasomnias and SDB with its associated symptoms in these children.
Parents completed questionnaires pertaining to their child's sleep habits. Children had various physiological measurements completed and then were connected to the Compumedics PS-2 sleep recording system for full, unattended polysomnography in the home. A total of 480 unattended home polysomnograms were completed on a sample that was 50% female, 42.3% Hispanic, and 52.9% between the ages of six and eight years.
Children with a Respiratory Disturbance Index of one or greater were more likely to have sleep walking (7.0% versus 2.5%, p < 0.02), sleep talking (18.3% versus 9.0%, p < 0.006), and enuresis (11.3% versus 6.3%, p < 0.08) than children with an Respiratory Disturbance Index of less than one. A higher prevalence of other sleep disturbances as well as learning problems was observed in children with parasomnia. Those with parasomnias associated with arousal were observed to have increased number of stage shifts. Small alterations in sleep architecture were found in those with enuresis.
In this population-based cohort study, pre-adolescent school-aged children with SDB experienced more parasomnias than those without SDB. Parasomnias were associated with a higher prevalence of other sleep disturbances and learning problems. Clinical evaluation of children with parasomnias should include consideration of SDB.
PMCID: PMC419382  PMID: 15115546
14.  Sleep Items in the Child Behavior Checklist: A Comparison With Sleep Diaries, Actigraphy, and Polysomnography 
The Child Behavior Checklist is sometimes used to assess sleep disturbance despite not having been validated for this purpose. This study examined associations between the Child Behavior Checklist sleep items and other measures of sleep.
Participants were 122 youth (61% female, aged 7 through 17 years) with anxiety disorders (19%), major depressive disorder (9%), both anxiety and depression (26%), or a negative history of any psychiatric disorder (46%). Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist and children completed a sleep diary, wore actigraphs for multiple nights, and spent 2 nights in the sleep laboratory. Partial correlations ([pr], controlling for age, gender and diagnostic status) were used to examine associations.
Child Behavior Checklist sleep items were associated with several other sleep variables. For example, “trouble sleeping” correlated significantly with sleep latency assessed by both diary (pr(113) = 0.25, p = .008) and actigraphy (pr(105) = 0.21, p = .029). Other expected associations were not found (e.g., “sleeps more than most kids” was not significantly correlated with EEG-assessed total sleep time: pr(84) = 0.12, p = .258).
Assessing sleep using the Child Behavior Checklist exclusively is not ideal. Nonetheless, certain Child Behavior Checklist items (e.g., “trouble sleeping”) may be valuable. Although the Child Behavior Checklist may provide a means of examining some aspects of sleep from existing datasets that do not include other measures of sleep, hypotheses generated from such analyses need to be tested using more rigorous measures of sleep.
PMCID: PMC3581333  PMID: 21515199
actigraphy; CBCL; poly somnography; sleep diary
15.  Meta-Analysis: Melatonin for the Treatment of Primary Sleep Disorders 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63773.
Study Objectives
To investigate the efficacy of melatonin compared to placebo in improving sleep parameters in patients with primary sleep disorders.
PubMed was searched for randomized, placebo-controlled trials examining the effects of melatonin for the treatment of primary sleep disorders. Primary outcomes examined were improvement in sleep latency, sleep quality and total sleep time. Meta-regression was performed to examine the influence of dose and duration of melatonin on reported efficacy.
Adults and children diagnosed with primary sleep disorders.
Melatonin compared to placebo.
Nineteen studies involving 1683 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. Melatonin demonstrated significant efficacy in reducing sleep latency (weighted mean difference (WMD) = 7.06 minutes [95% CI 4.37 to 9.75], Z = 5.15, p<0.001) and increasing total sleep time (WMD = 8.25 minutes [95% CI 1.74 to 14.75], Z = 2.48, p = 0.013). Trials with longer duration and using higher doses of melatonin demonstrated greater effects on decreasing sleep latency and increasing total sleep time. Overall sleep quality was significantly improved in subjects taking melatonin (standardized mean difference = 0.22 [95% CI: 0.12 to 0.32], Z = 4.52, p<0.001) compared to placebo. No significant effects of trial duration and melatonin dose were observed on sleep quality.
This meta-analysis demonstrates that melatonin decreases sleep onset latency, increases total sleep time and improves overall sleep quality. The effects of melatonin on sleep are modest but do not appear to dissipate with continued melatonin use. Although the absolute benefit of melatonin compared to placebo is smaller than other pharmacological treatments for insomnia, melatonin may have a role in the treatment of insomnia given its relatively benign side-effect profile compared to these agents.
PMCID: PMC3656905  PMID: 23691095
16.  Sleep apnea in childhood migraine 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2000;1(3):169-172.
In our previous study we found a high prevalence of disordered sleep breathing in migraine children vs. controls. Since no quantitative studies about sleep respiratory disorders have been carried out in migraine children, we performed a polysomnographic (PSG) study in 10 migraine patients (7 boys, 3 girls; mean age 8.11 years, range, 5.8–14.5) attending the Headache Center of our department, to evaluate the presence of sleep apnea. Mothers completed a headache diary and a sleep diary for at least 1 month and filled out a sleep questionnaire. PSG data showed a normal sleep architecture in 3 cases, an insomnia pattern in 2, a reduction of slow wave sleep in 3 and a reduction of REM sleep in 2. Respiratory analysis revealed that 2 of 10 patients had obstructive sleep apnea. These 2 patients presented habitual snoring and associated sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and hypnic jerks. Sleep apnea may be a subtle and often undiagnosed symptom in several migraine patients. The report of habitual snoring associated with other sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and other parasomnias may be a sign of sleep apnea in migraine children.
PMCID: PMC3611783
Key words Migraine; Sleep; Sleep apnea; Children
17.  The Underlying Interactome of Childhood Obesity: The Potential Role of Sleep 
Childhood Obesity  2012;8(1):38-42.
Fine-tuning and integration between social rhythms and biological rhythms should be a priority for all, especially for children. As such, the opportunity to sleep should fit the evolving needs for sleep in a child. Unfortunately, children today are highly unlikely to obtain sufficient sleep or live under stable and regular schedules. Poor or dysregulated sleep affects the regulation of homeostatic and hormonal systems underlying somatic and intellectual growth, maturation, and bioenergetics. Therefore, in the prevention and management of childhood obesity, assessments of the “obesogenic” lifestyle, such as dietary and physical activity patterns, need to be coupled with accurate evaluation of the quality and quantity of sleep and with the potential co-existence of sleep-disordered breathing or other sleep disorders. Incorporation of sleep as an integral component of many childhood research studies on obesity should be done a priori rather than as an afterthought. Although parents and health professionals have meticulously delineated, observed, and quantified normal patterns of activities such as eating or playing, the absence of reliable sleep health data in children is all the more puzzling considering that young children engage in sleeping activities more than in any other activity during the 24-hour cycle. Therefore, the most forgotten, overlooked, or even actively ignored behavior of this century is undoubtedly childhood sleep. Trends aiming to reduce sleep in children have emerged, and regrettably continue to gain momentum. In parallel with such undesirable consequences, leading to the blatant disregard of sleep as a vital function rather than a commodity, a reciprocal increase in obesity rates has emerged. The mechanistic links between sleep and metabolism are now emerging, and should prompt incorporation of measures aiming to align sleep with any other antiobesity campaign. To paraphrase a well-known dictum “Somni sano in corpore sano” (healthy sleep in healthy bodies).
PMCID: PMC3647589  PMID: 22799478
18.  Insomnia in school-age children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism 
BMC Psychiatry  2006;6:18.
Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) are pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) in individuals of normal intelligence. Childhood AS/HFA is considered to be often associated with disturbed sleep, in particular with difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep (insomnia). However, studies about the topic are still scarce. The present study investigated childhood AS/HFA regarding a wide range of parent reported sleep-wake behaviour, with a particular focus on insomnia.
Thirty-two 8–12 yr old children with AS/HFA were compared with 32 age and gender matched typically developing children regarding sleep and associated behavioural characteristics. Several aspects of sleep-wake behaviour including insomnia were surveyed using a structured paediatric sleep questionnaire in which parents reported their children's sleep patterns for the previous six months. Recent sleep patterns were monitored by use of a one-week sleep diary and actigraphy. Behavioural characteristics were surveyed by use of information gleaned from parent and teacher-ratings in the High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire, and in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
Parent-reported difficulties initiating sleep and daytime sleepiness were more common in children with AS/HFA than in controls, and 10/32 children with AS/HFA (31.2%) but none of the controls fulfilled our definition of paediatric insomnia. The parent-reported insomnia corresponded to the findings obtained by actigraphy. Children with insomnia had also more parent-reported autistic and emotional symptoms, and more teacher-reported emotional and hyperactivity symptoms than those children without insomnia.
Parental reports indicate that in childhood AS/HFA insomnia is a common and distressing symptom which is frequently associated with coexistent behaviour problems. Identification and treatment of sleep problems need to be a routine part of the treatment plan for children with AS/HFA.
PMCID: PMC1479331  PMID: 16646974
19.  Sleep and its importance in adolescence and in common adolescent somatic and psychiatric conditions 
Restoring sleep is strongly associated with a better physical, cognitive, and psychological well-being. By contrast, poor or disordered sleep is related to impairment of cognitive and psychological functioning and worsened physical health. These associations are well documented not only in adults but also in children and adolescents. Importantly, adolescence is hallmarked by dramatic maturational changes in sleep and its neurobiological regulation, hormonal status, and many psychosocial and physical processes. Thus, the role of sleep in mental and physical health during adolescence and in adolescent patients is complex. However, it has so far received little attention. This review first presents contemporary views about the complex neurobiology of sleep and its functions with important implications for adolescence. Second, existing complex relationships between common adolescent somatic/organic, sleep-related, and psychiatric disorders and certain sleep alterations are discussed. It is concluded that poor or altered sleep in adolescent patients may trigger and maintain many psychiatric and physical disorders or combinations of these conditions, which presumably hinder recovery and may cross into later stages of life. Therefore, timely diagnosis and management of sleep problems appear critical for growth and development in adolescent patients.
PMCID: PMC3119585  PMID: 21731894
cognitive; psychological; neurobiology; growth; development; sleep physiology; rapid eye movement; non-REM sleep; behavioral disorders; adolescents
20.  A Clinical Overview of Sleep and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents 
The relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep is a complex one which poses many challenges in clinical practice.
Studies of sleep disturbances in children with academic and behavioral problems have underscored the role that primary sleep disorders play in the clinical presentation of symptoms of inattention and behavioral dysregulation. In addition, recent research has shed further light on the prevalence, type, risk factors for, and impact of sleep disturbances in children with ADHD.
The following discussion of the multi-level and bi-directional relationships among sleep, neurobehavioral functioning, and the clinical syndrome of ADHD synthesizes current knowledge about the interaction of sleep and attention/arousal in these children.
Guidelines are provided, outlining a clinical approach to evaluation and management of children with ADHD and sleep problems.
PMCID: PMC2687494  PMID: 19495429
sleep; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; sleep disorders; sommeil; trouble du déficit d’attention avec hyperactivité; troubles du sommeil
21.  Sleep disorders in children 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:2304.
Sleep disorders may affect between 20% and 30% of young children, and include problems getting to sleep (dyssomnias), or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for dyssomnias in children? What are the effects of treatments for parasomnias in children? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 28 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antihistamines; behavioural therapy plus antihistamines, plus benzodiazepines, or plus chloral and derivatives; benzodiazepines alone; exercise; extinction and graduated extinction; 5-hydroxytryptophan; light therapy; melatonin; safety/protective interventions for parasomnias; scheduled waking (for parasomnias); sleep hygiene; and sleep restriction.
Key Points
Sleep disorders may affect between 20% and 30% of young children, and include problems getting to sleep (dyssomnias) or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders. Other risk factors include the child being the first born, having a difficult temperament or having had colic, and increased maternal responsiveness.
There is a paucity of evidence about effective treatments for sleep disorders in children, especially parasomnias, but behavioural interventions may be the best first-line approach.
Extinction and graduated extinction in otherwise healthy children with dyssomnia may improve sleep quality and settling, and reduce the number of tantrums and wakenings compared with no treatment. Extinction and graduated extinction in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder with dyssomnia may be more effective at improving settling, reducing the frequency and duration of night wakings, and improving parental sleep compared with no treatment; however, we don't know whether it is more effective in improving sleep duration.Graduated extinction may be less distressing for parents, and therefore may have better compliance.
Sleep hygiene for dyssomnia in otherwise healthy children may be more effective in reducing the number and duration of bedtime tantrums compared with placebo, but we don’t know if it is more effective at reducing night wakenings, improving sleep latency, improving total sleep duration, or improving maternal mood. Sleep hygiene and graduated extinction seem to be equally effective at reducing bedtime tantrums in otherwise healthy children with dyssomnia.We don't know whether sleep hygiene for dyssomnia in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder is effective.
Melatonin for dyssomnia in otherwise healthy children may be more effective at improving sleep-onset time, total sleep time, and general health compared with placebo. Evidence of improvements in dyssomnia with melatonin is slightly stronger in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder.
Little is known about the long-term effects of melatonin, and the quality of the product purchased could be variable as melatonin is classified as a food supplement.
Antihistamines for dyssomnia may be more effective than placebo at reducing night wakenings and decreasing sleep latency, but we don’t know if they are more effective at increasing sleep duration. The evidence for antihistamines in dyssomnia comes from only one small, short-term study.
We don’t know whether behavioural therapy plus antihistamines, plus benzodiazepines, or plus chloral and derivatives, exercise, light therapy, or sleep restriction are effective in children with dyssomnia.
We don’t know whether antihistamines, behavioural therapy plus benzodiazepines or plus chloral and derivatives, benzodiazepines, 5-hydroxytryptophan, melatonin, safety/protective interventions, scheduled waking, sleep hygiene, or sleep restriction are effective in children with parasomnia.
PMCID: PMC3217667  PMID: 21418676
22.  Comparison of Sleep Questionnaires in the Assessment of Sleep Disturbances in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Sleep Medicine  2012;13(7):795-801.
Background and purpose
The purpose of this study was to compare two parent completed questionnaires, the Modified Simonds & Parraga Sleep Questionnaire (MSPSQ), and the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), used to characterize sleep disturbances in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Both questionnaires have been used in previous work in the assessment and treatment of children with ASD and sleep disturbance.
Participants and methods
Parents/caregivers of a sample of 124 children diagnosed with ASD with an average age of six years completed both sleep questionnaires regarding children’s sleep behaviors. Internal consistency of the items for both measures was evaluated as well as the correlation between the two sleep measures. A Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve analysis was also conducted to examine the predictive power of the MSPSQ.
More than three quarters of the sample (78%) were identified as poor sleepers on the CSHQ. Cronbach’s alpha for the items on the CSHQ was 0.68 and Cronbach’s alpha for items on the MSPSQ was 0.67. The total scores for MSPSQ and CSHQ were significantly correlated (r =.70, p<.01). After first identifying the poor sleepers based on the CSHQ, an area under the curve was 0.89 for the MSPSQ. Using a cut off score of 56 on the MSPSQ, sensitivity was .86 and specificity was .70.
In this sample of children with ASD, sleep disturbances were common across all cognitive levels. Preliminary findings suggest that, similar to the CSHQ, the MSPSQ has adequate internal consistency. The two measures were also highly correlated. A preliminary cut off of 56 on the MSPSQ offers high sensitivity and specificity commensurate with the widely used CSHQ.
PMCID: PMC3398235  PMID: 22609024
Autism spectrum disorder; sleep disturbance; sleep disturbances; sleep questionnaires; Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire; Modified Simonds and Parraga Sleep Questionnaire
23.  ADHD Subtypes and Comorbid Anxiety, Depression, and Oppositional-Defiant Disorder: Differences in Sleep Problems 
Journal of Pediatric Psychology  2008;34(3):328-337.
Objective Sleep problems were analyzed in children with ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Methods Scales were completed by parents of 135 control children and 681 children with ADHD combined type (ADHD-C) or inattentive type (ADHD-I) with or without comorbid oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), anxiety, or depression. Results Children with ADHD-I alone had the fewest sleep problems and did not differ from controls. Children with ADHD-C had more sleep problems than controls and children with ADHD-I. Comorbid anxiety/depression increased sleep problems, whereas ODD did not. Daytime sleepiness was greatest in ADHD-I and was associated with sleeping more (not less) than normal. Medicated children had greater difficulty falling asleep than unmedicated children. Conclusions Differences in sleep problems were found as a function of ADHD subtype, comorbidity, and medication.
PMCID: PMC2722128  PMID: 18676503
ADHD, anxiety; depression; sleep; medication; oppositional-defiant disorder
24.  Short sleep duration is associated with teacher-reported inattention and cognitive problems in healthy school-aged children 
Pediatric, clinical, and research data suggest that insufficient sleep causes tiredness and daytime difficulties in terms of attention-focusing, learning, and impulse modulation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or in those with ADHD and primary sleep disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine whether sleep duration was associated with ADHD-like symptoms in healthy, well-developing school-aged children.
Patients and methods
Thirty-five healthy children (20 boys, 15 girls), aged 7–11 years participated in the present study. Each child wore an actigraphic device on their nondominant wrist for two nights prior to use of polysomnography to assess their typical sleep periods. On the third night, sleep was recorded via ambulatory assessment of sleep architecture in the child’s natural sleep environment employing portable polysomnography equipment. Teachers were asked to report symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity on the revised Conners Teacher Rating Scale.
Shorter sleep duration was associated with higher levels of teacher-reported ADHD-like symptoms in the domains of cognitive problems and inattention. No significant association between sleep duration and hyperactivity symptoms was evident.
Short sleep duration was found to be related to teacher-derived reports of ADHD-like symptoms of inattention and cognitive functioning in healthy children.
PMCID: PMC3630969  PMID: 23616727
ADHD-like symptoms; sleep duration; inattention; hyperactivity; impulsivity; healthy school-aged children
25.  Increased Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity in Children with Mild Sleep-Disordered Breathing 
Pediatrics  2006;118(4):e1100-e1108.
Sleep-disordered breathing describes a spectrum of upper airway obstruction in sleep from simple primary snoring, estimated to affect 10% of preschool children, to the syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea. Emerging evidence has challenged previous assumptions that primary snoring is benign. A recent report identified reduced attention and higher levels of social problems and anxiety/depressive symptoms in snoring children compared with controls. Uncertainty persists regarding clinical thresholds for medical or surgical intervention in sleep-disordered breathing, underlining the need to better understand the pathophysiology of this condition. Adults with sleep-disordered breathing have an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease independent of atherosclerotic risk factors. There has been little focus on cerebrovascular function in children with sleep-disordered breathing, although this would seem an important line of investigation, because studies have identified abnormalities of the systemic vasculature. Raised cerebral blood flow velocities on transcranial Doppler, compatible with raised blood flow and/or vascular narrowing, are associated with neuropsychological deficits in children with sickle cell disease, a condition in which sleep-disordered breathing is common. We hypothesized that there would be cerebral blood flow velocity differences in sleep-disordered breathing children without sickle cell disease that might contribute to the association with neuropsychological deficits.
Thirty-one snoring children aged 3 to 7 years were recruited from adenotonsillectomy waiting lists, and 17 control children were identified through a local Sunday school or as siblings of cases. Children with craniofacial abnormalities, neuromuscular disorders, moderate or severe learning disabilities, chronic respiratory/cardiac conditions, or allergic rhinitis were excluded. Severity of sleep-disordered breathing in snoring children was categorized by attended polysomnography. Weight, height, and head circumference were measured in all of the children. BMI and occipitofrontal circumference z scores were computed. Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure were obtained. Both sleep-disordered breathing children and the age- and BMI-similar controls were assessed using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), Neuropsychological Test Battery for Children (NEPSY) visual attention and visuomotor integration, and IQ assessment (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Version III). Transcranial Doppler was performed using a TL2-64b 2-MHz pulsed Doppler device between 2 PM and 7 PM in all of the patients and the majority of controls while awake. Time-averaged mean of the maximal cerebral blood flow velocities was measured in the left and right middle cerebral artery and the higher used for analysis.
Twenty-one snoring children had an apnea/hypopnea index <5, consistent with mild sleep-disordered breathing below the conventional threshold for surgical intervention. Compared with 17 nonsnoring controls, these children had significantly raised middle cerebral artery blood flow velocities. There was no correlation between cerebral blood flow velocities and BMI or systolic or diastolic blood pressure indices. Exploratory analyses did not reveal any significant associations with apnea/hypopnea index, apnea index, hypopnea index, mean pulse oxygen saturation, lowest pulse oxygen saturation, accumulated time at pulse oxygen saturation <90%, or respiratory arousals when examined in separate bivariate correlations or in aggregate when entered simultaneously. Similarly, there was no significant association between cerebral blood flow velocities and parental estimation of child’s exposure to sleep-disordered breathing. However, it is important to note that whereas the sleep-disordered breathing group did not exhibit significant hypoxia at the time of study, it was unclear to what extent this may have been a feature of their sleep-disordered breathing in the past. IQ measures were in the average range and comparable between groups. Measures of processing speed and visual attention were significantly lower in sleep-disordered breathing children compared with controls, although within the average range. There were similar group differences in parental-reported executive function behavior. Although there were no direct correlations, adjusting for cerebral blood flow velocities eliminated significant group differences between processing speed and visual attention and decreased the significance of differences in Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function scores, suggesting that cerebral hemodynamic factors contribute to the relationship between mild sleep-disordered breathing and these outcome measures.
Cerebral blood flow velocities measured by noninvasive transcranial Doppler provide evidence for increased cerebral blood flow and/or vascular narrowing in childhood sleep-disordered breathing; the relationship with neuropsychological deficits requires further exploration. A number of physiologic changes might alter cerebral blood flow and/or vessel diameter and, therefore, affect cerebral blood flow velocities. We were able to explore potential confounding influences of obesity and hypertension, neither of which explained our findings. Second, although cerebral blood flow velocities increase with increasing partial pressure of carbon dioxide and hypoxia, it is unlikely that the observed differences could be accounted for by arterial blood gas tensions, because all of the children in the study were healthy, with no cardiorespiratory disease, other than sleep-disordered breathing in the snoring group. Although arterial partial pressure of oxygen and partial pressure of carbon dioxide were not monitored during cerebral blood flow velocity measurement, assessment was undertaken during the afternoon/early evening when the child was awake, and all of the sleep-disordered breathing children had normal resting oxyhemoglobin saturation at the outset of their subsequent sleep studies that day. Finally, there is an inverse linear relationship between cerebral blood flow and hematocrit in adults, and it is known that iron-deficient erythropoiesis is associated with chronic infection, such as recurrent tonsillitis, a clinical feature of many of the snoring children in the study. Preoperative full blood counts were not performed routinely in these children, and, therefore, it was not possible to exclude anemia as a cause of increased cerebral blood flow velocity in the sleep-disordered breathing group. However, hemoglobin levels were obtained in 4 children, 2 of whom had borderline low levels (10.9 and 10.2 g/dL). Although there was no apparent relationship with cerebral blood flow velocity in these children (cerebral blood flow velocity values of 131 and 130 cm/second compared with 130 and 137 cm/second in the 2 children with normal hemoglobin levels), this requires verification. It is of particular interest that our data suggest a relationship among snoring, increased cerebral blood flow velocities and indices of cognition (processing speed and visual attention) and perhaps behavioral (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) function. This finding is preliminary: a causal relationship is not established, and the physiologic mechanisms underlying such a relationship are not clear. Prospective studies that quantify cumulative exposure to the physiologic consequences of sleep-disordered breathing, such as hypoxia, would be informative.
PMCID: PMC1995426  PMID: 17015501
sleep disordered breathing; cerebral blood flow; transcranial Doppler; executive function; neuropsychological function

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