Send to

Choose Destination
Somnologie (Berl). 2010 Mar;14(1):23-31.

Self-reported sleep patterns, sleep problems, and behavioral problems among school children aged 8-11 years.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Division of Physiological Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg.



Investigation of sleep patterns, sleep problems, and behavioral problems in 8- to 11-year-old children.


A total of 330 children (age: M=9.52; SD=0.56; range=8-11 years; 47.3% girls) in the 4th grade of elementary school in Salzburg (Austria) completed a self-report questionnaire (80 items) to survey sleep patterns, sleep problems, and behavioral problems.


Children aged 8-11 years slept approximately 10 h and 13 min on school days (SD=47 min) as well as on weekends (SD=81 min); girls slept significantly longer on weekends than boys. Most common self-reported sleep problems were dryness of the mouth (26.6%), sleep onset delay (21.9%), bedtime resistance (20.3%), and restless legs (19.4%). There was a significant association between watching TV as well as playing computer games prior to sleep with frightful dreams. Daytime sleepiness indicated by difficulty waking up (33.4%) and having a hard time getting out of bed (28.5%) was also very prominent. However, children in Salzburg seemed to be less tired during school (6.6%) or when doing homework (4.8%) compared to other nationalities. Behavioral problems (e.g., emotional symptoms, hyperactivity and inattention, conduct problems, peer problems) and daytime sleepiness were both significantly associated with sleep problems: the more sleep problems reported, the worse behavioral problems and daytime sleepiness were. Moreover, we could show that sharing the bed with a pet was also related to sleep problems.


Self-reported sleep problems among 8- to 11-year-old children are very common. There is a strong relationship between sleep disorders and behavioral problems. Routine screening and diagnosis as well as treatment of sleep disorders in school children should, therefore, be established in the future.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center