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Sleep problems in a Down syndrome population
  1. M Carter1,
  2. E McCaughey2,
  3. D Annaz3,
  4. C M Hill1
  1. 1
    School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  2. 2
    Southampton City Primary Care Trust, Southampton, UK
  3. 3
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Dr Catherine M Hill, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Mail point 803 G, G level, Centre Block, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; cmh2{at}soton.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of sleep problems in children with Down syndrome.

Design and setting: A community prevalence study in a child population of 100 000 in England.

Participants: 58 children with Down syndrome aged to 0.65–17.9 years (mean 8.6 years).

Interventions: Child sleep Habits Questionnaire.

Results: Compared to published data for typically developing populations, children with Down syndrome were reported to have significantly greater bedtime resistance, sleep anxiety, night waking, parasomnias, sleep disordered breathing and day-time sleepiness. Amongst children 4 years and older, 66% rarely fell asleep in their own beds, 55% were always restless during sleep and 40% usually woke at least once during the night. Importantly, 78% seemed tired during the day at least 2 days per week, suggesting inadequate sleep.

Conclusions: Parents report universal sleep problems in school aged children with Down syndrome. Paediatricians should routinely enquire about sleep behaviour in these children.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: The study protocol was approved by the Isle of Wight Portsmouth and South East Hampshire research ethics committee.

  • Patient consent: Parental consent obtained.

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