Symptoms of sleep disturbances among children at two general pediatric clinics

J Pediatr. 2002 Jan;140(1):97-102. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2002.119990.


Objective: We assessed the frequency of childhood sleep problems at 2 general pediatric clinics.

Study design: Parents of 1038 unselected children (554 boys) aged 2.0 to 13.9 years completed a validated Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire while waiting for appointments.

Results: Habitual snoring was reported in 176 (17%) of the children. Criterion scores suggestive of sleep-disordered breathing were found in 115 (11%) of the children, in 29% of children at the clinic for neurologic indications, and in 21% of children at the clinic for noninfectious respiratory indications. Insomnia (ie, unrefreshing sleep or difficulty with sleep onset, sleep maintenance, or early morning awakening from sleep) was reported in 430 (41%) of the children; > or =2 symptoms were present in 191 (18%) of the children. Excessive daytime sleepiness was suggested in 148 (14%) of the children, and 390 (38%) had symptoms of sleep terrors, sleepwalking, or nocturnal bruxism.

Conclusions: Sleep problems such as sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, and parasomnias are frequent among children seen at general pediatric practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology