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Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jun;22(2):148-55. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2015.04.004. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Sleep in Children With Psychiatric Disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Mercy Children׳s Hospital, St Louis, MO. Electronic address: Ujjwal.Ramtekkar@Mercy.Net.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

Sleep disturbances are common in pediatric psychiatric disorders and constitute key elements in diagnostic symptomatology of various primary psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorder. Although sleep is not included in key defining criteria of some impairing illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, these disorders present with a very high prevalence of sleep disturbances. The interaction between sleep and psychopathology is very complex with significant interrelationship in development, severity, and prognosis of psychiatric disorders and comorbid sleep disturbances. The research ranging from small intervention case series to large epidemiologic studies have demonstrated the role of specific sleep complaints in specific psychiatric diagnoses. However, the research using objective instruments such as polysomnography and actigraphy remains limited in youth with psychiatric disorders. The intervention studies using pharmaceutical treatment specifically focusing on sleep disturbances in psychiatric disorders are also sparse in the pediatric literature. Early identification of sleep disturbances and behavioral management using cognitive behavior therapy-based tools appear to be the most effective approach for treatment. The use of psychotropic medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of primary psychiatric disorder often alleviate the psychological barriers for sleep but may lead to emergence of other sleep issues such as restless leg syndrome. The safety and efficacy data of hypnotics for primary sleep disorders are limited in pediatrics and should be avoided or used with extreme caution in children with comorbid sleep and psychiatric problems.

PMID:
26072345
DOI:
10.1016/j.spen.2015.04.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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