Sleep disorders in childhood: a review

M Mazza, V Faia, N Paciello, G Della Marca, S Mazza
La Clinica Terapeutica 2002, 153 (3): 189-93
Several studies in the last ten years have been directed towards a better understanding of sleep disorders in childhood. Defining sleep disorders in this age is difficult in dependence of relevant differences in sleep patterns at subsequent developmental stages. In new-borns total sleep time is fairly equal during night and day. Normally, day-time sleep gradually decreases over the first three years of life, such that night-time sleep progressively increases till the age of four, and similar to adult sleep-time by adolescence. The most frequent sleep disorders observed in childhood are parasomnias, that, thought to be a CNS sign of immaturity, tend to be quite predictable, recurring in the same families and not even influenced by environmental stimuli. These disorders included: a) arousal disorders, that generally emerge from delta sleep or relate to arousals occurring during NREM sleep, very common in childhood and fairly common in adulthood either; b) somnambulism and somniloquy, that have many common characteristics: first of all, they have the potential to generate a great sense of discomfort and fear in parents watching a child who suddenly sits up in bed eyes-opened but 'unseeing'; c) nocturnal enuresis, that is substantially not a problem of depth of sleep, despite many parents believe. Although narcolepsy is more common in adolescence, many studies have demonstrated that narcoleptic symptoms may begin in childhood. Narcoleptic symptoms in children are similar in their appearance to those predominant in adults, but their expression may be different because of CNS maturational factors. Historical descriptions of the OSAS evidenced since the beginning the importance of neurobehavioral complications associated with the cessation of airflow at the nose and mouth accompanied by respiratory effort, deriving from upper airway obstruction which occurs during sleep.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"