The all-night polysomnographic findings of nine patients with spastic quadriparesis (mean age 36.7 months) were analysed retrospectively and compared with those of nine age-matched controls (mean age 37.4 months). The cerebral palsy group had significantly more respiratory disturbances per hour of sleep, with five of nine being diagnosed as having obstructive sleep apnea. They also had fewer changes in body position during the night. Interictal epileptiform discharges averaged 23.3 per cent of the total arousals in the cerebral palsy group. Obstructive apnea, decreased ability to change body position, and interictal epileptiform discharges are prevalent in the sleep of patients with severe cerebral palsy, and contribute towards its disruption.