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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 1999 Oct;8(4):695-725.

Developmental features of sleep.

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Department of Psychology, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


In sum, sleep disorders are common problems for children and adolescents, with estimates indicating that approximately 20% to 25% of the pediatric population experiences some type of sleep disturbance. Furthermore, clinicians should be aware that sleep disturbances may not only exist in isolation, but can be related to psychiatric or medical issues. Although much appears to be known about sleep disorders in the pediatric population, our knowledge of this area is still in its infancy. Additional research is still needed to investigate differences in clinical presentation of specific sleep disturbances among different age groups (i.e., children, adolescents, adults, and elderly), to develop the most appropriate treatments for given populations, and to study the effects of sleep disturbances on functioning. Given the prevalence of these problems in the child and adolescent population and its likely impact on cognitive and behavioral functioning, health professionals need to become increasingly aware of and knowledgeable about sleep and sleep disorders. We all spend about one third of our lives sleeping, or trying to sleep; thus, we should understand as much as we can about it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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