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J Sleep Res. 2005 Jun;14(2):163-76.

Odds, prevalence and predictors of sleep problems in school-age normal children.

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Department of Cognitive and Physiological Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.


The objectives of the study were to describe the prevalence, odds, and predictors of 36 paediatric sleep behaviours and describe their coexistence in a school-age normal population. The design was community-based questionnaire survey of sleep-wake patterns, sleep environment, and 36 sleep behaviours indicative of six sleep disorder-subscales using the Health-Behaviour Questionnaire. A caregivers' report of 3045 children aged 6-13 years in Belgium constituted the participants. Prevalence of each sleep behaviour was calculated. Log-linear modelling within and between the sleep disorder-subscales was used to screen for coexistence. The effect size of selected night-time parameters to the likelihood of sleep behaviours and disorder-subscale was expressed as odds ratios via logit regression analysis. Significant differences in sleep-wake patterns were found between weekday and weekend. Ranking by odds showed that: (1) sleep problems such as 'tired when waking up', 'repetitive limb movements', 'going to bed reluctantly', and 'sleep paralysis' and; (2) the disorder-subscale 'excessive somnolence' are common in children. Coexistences within and between disorder-subscales of sleep problems are evident in a school-age, normal population. These results suggest that disorders of excessive somnolence (DES) are highly prevalent in a non-clinical sample of school-age children. Furthermore, sleep-onset latency and a noisy, not well-darkened room are predictive towards the odds for exhibiting sleep problems and disorders. It is advocated that more information on the importance of good sleep-wake hygiene should reach parents and children.

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