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'Children's Report of Sleep Patterns' a reliable, maybe a valid measure of children's sleep habits

WESTCHESTER, Ill. The Childrens Report of Sleep Patterns (CRSP), a new self-report measure of childrens sleep patterns, sleep hygiene, and sleep disturbances for school-aged children, may be a reliable and valid self-report measure of sleep patterns, sleep hygiene, and sleep disturbances in children eight to 12 years of age, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Lisa Meltzer, PhD, of Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, focused on 120 children who completed the CRSP, a 67-item measure with nine subscales, and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children-10 item (MASC-10). Parents/caregivers completed the Childrens Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and the Childrens Sleep Hygiene Scale (CSHS).

According to the results, the CRSP demonstrated adequate internal reliability. Twenty-three percent of children reported a night waking the previous night that parents did not report. Concurrent validity was examined, with moderate significant relationships between the CRSP and CSHQ for sleep anxiety, sleep-related breathing disorders, parasomnias, and sleep disorders/disturbances. In addition, relationships were found between the CRSP and CSHS for caffeine, bedtime routine, sleep onset location, and sleep onset worries, and between the CRSP and MASC-10 for bedtime worries.

While sleep problems in school-aged children are primarily reported by parents, children as young as eight years old may be able to provide reliable information about their own sleep patterns, sleep hygiene, and sleep disturbances, said Dr. Meltzer.

It is recommended that school-aged children get between 10-11 hours of nightly sleep and children in pre-school between 11-13 hours.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers some tips to help your child sleep better:

  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep each night.

  • Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.

  • Interact with your child at bedtime. Dont let the TV, computer or video games take your place.

  • Keep your children from TV programs, movies, and video games that are not right for their age.

  • Do not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle, or while nursing.

  • At bedtime, do not allow your child to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate and sodas. Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime. This includes cough medicines and decongestants.

It is important to make sure that your child gets enough sleep and sleeps well. The value of sleep can be measured by your childs smiling face, happy nature and natural energy. A tired child may have development or behavior problems. A childs sleep problems can also cause unnecessary stress for you and the other members of your family.

Parents who suspect that their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their childs pediatrician or a sleep specialist.


Contact: Kathleen McCann
American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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