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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2019 Jun 3. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000684. [Epub ahead of print]

Sleep Difficulties in Infancy Are Associated with Symptoms of Inattention and Hyperactivity at the Age of 5 Years: A Longitudinal Study.

Author information

1
Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
2
Pediatric Research Center, Laboratory of Developmental Psychopathology and Children's Hospital, Child Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
3
Institute for Mental Health, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
5
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere Center for Child Health Research, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
6
Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
7
Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.
8
Pediatric Research Center, Child Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Sleep difficulties are associated with cognitive and behavioral problems in childhood. However, it is still unclear whether early sleep difficulties are related to later development. We studied whether parent-reported sleep duration, night awakenings, and parent-reported sleep problems in early childhood are associated with symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years.

METHOD:

Our study is based on the Child-Sleep birth cohort initially comprising 1673 families, of which 713 were retained at the age of 5 years. We used the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire and the Infant Sleep Questionnaire, which were filled out by the parents when their child was 3, 8, and 24 months and 5 years old. Symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Five-to-Fifteen questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Sleep duration at the age of 3, 8, and 24 months was associated with inattentiveness at 5 years of age. Moreover, parent-reported sleep problems at the age of 24 months were related to both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms at the age of 5 years. Finally, at the age of 5 years, parent-reported sleep problems and night awakenings were associated with concurrent symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that certain sleep characteristics related to sleep quality and quantity in early childhood are associated with inattentiveness and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years. Interestingly, sleep duration in early childhood is consistently related to inattention at the age of 5 years.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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