The consequences of poor quality and/or inadequate sleep in children and adolescents have become a major public health concern, and one in which pediatric health care professionals have become increasingly involved. In particular, insufficient and/or fragmented sleep resulting from primary sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), often compounded by the presence of comorbid sleep disorders as well as by voluntary sleep curtailment related to lifestyle and environmental factors, has been implicated in a host of negative consequences. These range from metabolic dysfunction and increased cardiovascular morbidity to impairments in mood and academic performance. The following review will focus on what is currently known about the effects of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) specifically on neurobehavioral and neurocognitive function in children. Because of the scarcity of literature on the cognitive and behavioral impact of sleep disorders in infants and very young children, this review will target largely the preschool/school-aged child and adolescent populations. In addition, the focus will be on a review of the most recent literature, as a supplement to several excellent previous reviews on the topic.
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