Background and aims Given the risk of significant medical and behavioural morbidity, it is crucial to evaluate sleep disorders in clinical practice. We aimed to evaluate sleep habits and disturbances in pre-scholar and scholar children from a Northern region of Portugal and compare the results with other studies.
Methods Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire Portuguese version (CSHQ-PT) was applied to parents of healthy children (4–10 years old) attending daycare centres and elementary schools in our city.
Results 107 pre-scholar and 122 scholar children were included (n = 229), mean age 6,3 years. 54,1% were boys. Prevalence of co-sleeping was 37,3%. Mean bedtime was 9:41 pm and mean wake-up time was 7:20 am. Mean sleep duration was 9.7 h, being longer in pre-scholars (p < 0.001).75,7% of children suffered from global sleep disturbances and the mean CSHQ-PT total score was 47,05, being higher in pre-scholars (p = 0,001). Pre-scholars also scored higher on bedtime resistance (p < 0,001), sleep onset delay (p = 0,046) and night wakening (p < 0,001). Bedtime resistance and sleep anxiety scores were higher in only children (p = 0.003). The prevalence of enuresis was 7,7%, restless sleep 52,7% and bruxism 22,2%. Pre-scholars scored higher in night terrors (p = 0,04). It was hard to get the children out of bed in 56.7% and the children seemed tired during the day in 22.9%.
Conclusion Included children tend to fall asleep later and sleep less than in other studies. A high prevalence of sleep disturbances was found, specially in pre-scholar children, which claims a different approach of this subject in our clinical practice.