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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1984 Feb;5(1):6-10.

Sleep behaviors and disorders in children and adolescents evaluated at psychiatric clinics.


The parents of 150 children and adolescents, evaluated at a university psychiatry outpatient clinic and a mental health center, were surveyed to determine the frequency of various sleep-related behaviors. This clinic sample was compared with a nonclinic sample of 309 subjects from the general population. A significantly higher incidence of restless sleep, limb movements, nightmares, night terrors, reluctance going to sleep, sleeping with others, fear of dying, fears of dark, and daytime overactivity differentiated the clinic population from the nonclinic population. There were no significant differences in the frequencies of sleep behaviors in the clinic sample due to chronic ear-nose-throat (ENT) problems, sex, or social class. However, bedwetting, sleeping with others, bedtime rituals, need for security objects, fears of the dark, and daytime overactivity were significantly more frequent in the younger age population. Nightmares and restless sleep were more likely to occur in patients having anxiety-affective disorder or conduct disorder DSM III diagnosis, as compared to clinic patients without psychiatric diagnoses. Patients with mental retardation were more likely to experience fears of the dark. A significantly greater number of patients with attention deficit disorder manifested problems with snoring, head banging, restless sleep, and nighttime awakening. There appeared to be an association between chronic ENT problems and daytime overactivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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