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Children with Down Syndrome sleep poorly and have more fragmented sleep
Date:6/10/2008

WESTCHESTER, Ill. Children with Down Syndrome sleep poorly, with more fragmented sleep and frequent awakenings compared to typically developing children, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Tuesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Nicole N. Phillips, MD, of the University of Michigan, focused on 38 children with Down Syndrome, whose sleep study results were identified and matched to those of 38 typically developing children presenting to the Sleep Disorders Center. Children were matched for severity of underlying sleep disordered breathing. The average age of all the children was seven years.

As a whole, children with Down Syndrome spent more time awake after sleep onset and had more fragmented sleep compared to typically developing children. Children with Down Syndrome in the five-to-nine-year year age group exhibited lower sleep efficiency, less total sleep time, spent more time awake after sleep onset, spent more time in a lighter sleep stage (stage 1 sleep), and had less REM sleep compared to typically developing children. Also noted was a trend characterized by less REM sleep and more slow wave sleep with age.

According to Dr. Phillips, the findings of this study suggest that children with Down Syndrome sleep poorly and have more fragmented sleep compared to typically developing children, which may be independent of underlying sleep disordered breathing. Children with Down Syndrome may also have an altered sleep architecture characterized by less total sleep time, more stage 1 sleep, and less REM sleep, said Dr. Phillips, adding that this sleep pattern may emerge during childhood and may reflect a developmental phenotype in this pediatric population. Poor sleep quality and decreased amounts of REM sleep may further impair cognitive, behavioral, and physical growth, noted Dr. Phillips.

A better understanding
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Contact: Kathleen McCann
kmccann@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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