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More reports of children having trouble falling asleep than maintaining sleep
Date:10/1/2007

WESTCHESTER, Ill. Children have more difficulty initiating sleep than maintaining sleep. Further, parents tend to underestimate their childrens sleep problems. This highlights the importance of having treatment options available to help a child overcome a sleep disorder, according to a study published in the October 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Leonie Fricke-Oerkermann, PhD, of the University of Cologne in Germany, centered on 832 children and their parents, who were surveyed using questionnaires three times on an annual basis. The average age of the children was 9.4, 10.7 and 11.7 years at the three assessments.

According to the results, in child and parental reports, about 30 to 40 percent of the children had problems falling asleep at the first assessment. One year later, the child and parental reports indicated that about 60 percent of those children continued to have difficulties initiating sleep.

One of the striking results of the study, notes Dr. Fricke-Oerkermann, is the difference between the children and their parents in the assessment of the childrens sleep problems. Children described significantly more difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep than what their parents reported on their behalf. For example, in the parental reports, four to six percent of the children often had difficulties initiating sleep, whereas up to five to 10 percent of the children reported difficulties initiating sleep. About 40 percent of the children reported difficulties initiating sleep which occur sometimes, compared to 25 to 30 percent of what the parents reported for their children. Sleep onset problems in all surveys were present in 13.5 percent of the children according to their parents and 24 percent of the children according to the childrens ratings.

These findings are supported by other studies, and imply that in epidemiological studies and in practical work, the inclusion of childrens and ad
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Contact: Jim Arcuri
jarcuri@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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