Pediatric sleep disorders are very common, affecting up to one third of all children.
Most children with sleep disorders (e.g., with behavioral insomnia of childhood) do not require pharmacologic treatment, and can be managed with behavioral and environmental interventions.
Obstructive sleep apnea affects up to 4% of children. It is specifically associated with deleterious neurocognitive, developmental, and behavioral outcomes in children. Adenotonsillectomy is generally the first line of therapy and can be associated with reversal of some of these adverse sequelae.
Relevant disorders to this monograph include behavioral insomnia of childhood, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), narcolepsy, delayed sleep phase disorder/syndrome (DSPD/DSPS), and inadequate sleep hygiene.
Pediatric sleep disturbances are very common, with a prevalence of 25% to 37%.  Most involve difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep because of behavioral insomnia of childhood (sleep association and/or limit-setting disorder), insufficient sleep, poor sleep hygiene, delayed sleep phase disorder/syndrome, and other circadian rhythm disorders.  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is also a common and under-recognized problem that is present in 1% to 4% of children.  Other sleep disorders bringing children to medical attention include hypersomnolence, movement disorders, and narcolepsy. Sleep disturbances in patients with cerebral palsy and neurodevelopmental delay are not covered in this topic.
Associate Medical Director
Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders
Boston Children's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
DR declares that he has no competing interests.
Consultant in Paediatric Neurodisability
Evelina Children's Hospital
St Thomas' Hospital
PG is lead applicant on the ongoing MENDS trial, which is concerned with the use of melatonin in children with neurodevelopmental disorders and impaired sleep.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine
University of Chicago
LKG is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer