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Sleep problems in a Down syndrome population
  1. Melanie Carter (mhc102{at}
  1. University of Southampton, United Kingdom
    1. Elizabeth McCaughey (liz.mccaughey{at}
    1. Southampton City Primary Care Trust, United Kingdom
      1. Dagmara Annaz
      1. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
        1. Catherine M Hill (cmh2{at}
        1. University of Southampton, United Kingdom


          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 yrs (mean 8.6 years).

          Interventions: Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire.

          Results: Compared to published data for typically developing populations, children 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 in 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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