Interest in pediatric sleep medicine has been growing exponentially in recent years. Reports show that 25% to 40% of all children and adolescents experience sleep concerns, and sleep problems are associated with a myriad of health issues, including mood disorders, learning disabilities, obesity, and even serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents.1–4 Parents and pediatricians are showing increasing interest in the importance of optimal sleep, and comprehensive understanding of sleep problems is critical for all child-care professionals in their daily health care guidance. The goal of this issue of Pediatric Annals is to provide an overview of several of the main sleep disorders seen in pediatrics.
In the first article, “Insomnia in Infants and Young Children,” Dr. Judith A. Owens and Maile Moore share their clinical expertise on insomnia, which is one of the most common areas of parental sleep concerns. Arguably, establishing ideal sleep habits from a young age sets the stage for positive sleep practices in later years. This comprehensive review of sleep problems in infants and young children summarizes how to identify, evaluate, and manage insomnia in this often challenging population.
The second article, “Non-Rapid Eye Movement Arousal Parasomnias in Children,” by Drs. Vijayabharathi Ekambaram and Kiran Maski provides an in-depth discussion on the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of parasomnias. They also help clinicians differentiate parasomnias that occur in non-rapid eye movement sleep from nocturnal frontal lobe seizures. Their clinical focus and practical approach to an often complex and confusing area of pediatric sleep disorders is much appreciated.
The next two articles discuss obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. In the article, “Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Asthma: Clinical Implications,” Drs. Michelle Trivedi, Mai El Mallah, Evan Bailey, Ted Kremer, and Lawrence M. Rhein review the association between OSA and another common pediatric disorder—asthma. They highlight the significant relationships between these disorders and provide important management guidelines. Then, in the article, “Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea in High-Risk Populations: Clinical Implications,” Drs. Mallah, Bailey, Trivedi, Kremer, and Rhein provide an overview of pediatric OSA in certain high-risk populations. Specifically, they identify several pediatric populations that benefit from screening for OSA so that primary care providers will have an increased index of suspicion when evaluating these young children.
In the final article, “Adolescent Sleepiness: Causes and Consequences,” Drs. Shana L. Hansen, Dale Capener, and Christopher Daly provide a comprehensive discussion about sleep deprivation and its consequences in adolescents. They summarize recent literature and review the many causes of adolescent sleepiness and its serious, even potentially fatal, consequences. Clinical guidance on the evaluation and management of this problem is provided, and healthy sleep practices are highlighted as well.
I am honored to serve as a guest editor for this issue on sleep disorders in children and adolescents. The field of pediatric sleep medicine has become so expansive and the clinical research in this area continues to grow rapidly that I regret that we are only able to cover a few important topics. Nonetheless, I am confident that pediatric health care providers will appreciate the clinical insights offered by the authors in this issue.
- Lofthouse N, Gilcrist R, Splaingard M. Mood-related sleep problems in children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009;18(4):893–899. doi: . doi:10.1016/j.chc.2009.04.007 [CrossRef]
- Stein MA, Mendelsohn J, Obermeyer WH, Amromin J, Benca R. Sleep and behavior problems in school-aged children. Pediatrics. 2001;107(4):E60. doi:10.1542/peds.107.4.e60 [CrossRef]
- Bell JF, Zimmerman FJ. Shortened night-time sleep duration in early life and subsequent childhood obesity. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(9):840–845. doi: . doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.143 [CrossRef]
- Danner F, Phillips B. Adolescent sleep, school start times, and teen motor vehicle crashes. J Clin Sleep Med. 2008;4(6):533–535.