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Sante Ment Que. 2015 Summer;40(2):257-74.

[Treatment of sleep disorders in children with a psychiatric diagnosis].

[Article in French]

Author information

Laboratoire et clinique du sommeil, Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies; Département de psychiatrie, Université de Montréal.



Health sciences suffer from insomnia: experts too often concentrate their efforts on the wake state. Fortunately enough, some of them have taken the road towards the "Dark Third of Life": sleep. This article gives an historical account of the development of the first Canadian sleep disorders laboratory and clinic specifically and selectively designed for children and adolescents with a psychiatric diagnosis. It then stresses the importance of sleep in children bearing a psychiatric diagnosis and summarizes therapeutic strategies.


Data-on-file and selective review of literature.


An innovative scheme matching sleep psychologists and psychiatrists with expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders led to the creation of a sleep research laboratory on mental health disorders. The initial research projects on the sleep and dreams of patients with schizophrenia and persons with autism are summarized. The Sleep Disorders Clinic for Children and Adolescents was then created at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, leading to much needed activities focused on youth. Indeed, sleep disorders show a high prevalence in children with a psychiatric diagnosis and the literature shows that these children have an increased sensitivity for diurnal effects of poor sleep. The main sleep-relevant issues at stake are reviewed, including the high frequency of sleep disorders in pedopsychiatric patients. Clinical challenges are described and the operating mode of the Sleep Disorders Clinic is illustrated.


Sleep disorders and their effects on daytime functioning need to be assessed in children with a psychiatric diagnosis in order to generate a full clinical picture. Appropriate tools and know-how are readily available in order to achieve this goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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