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Sleep in children with chronic illness, and the relation to emotional and behavioral problems–a population-based study

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Hysing, M.; Sivertsen, B.; Stormark, K. M.; Elgen, I.; Lundervold, A. J.

OBJECTIVE: To examine sleep and sleep problems in children with chronic illness, and the potential effect of emotional and behavioral problems. METHODS: The Bergen Child Study is a total population study. Based on data from the second wave, information about sleep was given by 5,781 children and their parents, of which 496 children (8.6%) had a chronic illness. RESULTS: There were no differences in time in bed between children with a chronic illness and their healthy peers. However, the chronic illness group reported more problems falling asleep and had more nighttime awakenings. The increased risk for sleep problems was reduced to a nonsignificant level when adjusting for emotional and behavioral problems. CONCLUSIONS: The elevated rate of sleep problems and association with emotional and behavioral problems in children with chronic illness underline the importance of early detection and intervention in this group.

Research abstracts