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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
13-Jun-2007

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Contact: Jim Arcuri
jarcuri@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
@AASMOrg

Poor sleep hygiene in children associated with behavioral problems

WESTCHESTER, Ill. - A research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) finds that a snoring child's poor sleep hygiene habits can have a negative influence on his or her daytime behavior.

Lisa Witcher of the University of Louisville, who authored the study, interviewed the parents of 52 children between the ages of five and eight who were reported to snore "frequently" to "almost always". The children underwent an overnight polysomnography, and parents were asked to complete the Children's Sleep Hygiene Scale (CSHS) and the Conners' Parent Rating Scales-Revised (CPRS-R).

The results showed strong negative correlations between the CSHS overall sleep hygiene score and CPRS-R total externalizing behaviors. The CSHS total was also negatively correlated with the CPRS-R cognitive/inattention problems, hyperactivity, perfectionism, ADHD index, and restless and impulsivity total scores among others. Further, the CSHS physiological, cognitive, emotional, environmental, and bedtime routine subscales were also significantly negatively correlated with externalizing behaviors on the CPRS-R.

"The parental reports indicate poorer sleep hygiene is associated with both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, specifically those associated with ADHD symptoms," said Witcher. "While no causation can be inferred, an overlap between daytime behavior problems, poor sleep hygiene, and potentially problematic bedtime behaviors in snoring children may exist and deserves further study."

Snoring is a sound made in the upper airway of your throat as you sleep. It normally occurs as you breathe in air. It has been found in all age groups. Between 10-12 percent of children are found to snore. Almost everyone is likely to snore at one time or another.

Snoring can, however, be indicative of a more serious condition, namely, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which refers to a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes one's body to stop breathing during sleep. OSA occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, which prevents air from getting into the lungs.

Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from OSA, or another sleep disorder, are encouraged to consult with their child's pediatrician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

Children should follow these steps to get a good night's sleep:

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Experts recommend that children in pre-school sleep between 11-13 hours a night, and school-aged children between 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.

More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.



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