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Free Content Sleep problems and daytime somnolence in a German population-based sample of snoring school-aged children

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Habitual snoring is associated with daytime symptoms like tiredness and behavioral problems. Its association with sleep problems is unclear. We aimed to assess associations between habitual snoring and sleep problems in primary school children. The design was a population-based cross-sectional study with a nested cohort study. The setting was twenty-seven primary schools in the city of Hannover, Germany. Habitual snoring and sleep problems were assessed in primary school children using an extended version of Gozal's sleep-disordered breathing questionnaire (n = 1144). Approximately 1 year later, parents of children reported to snore habitually (n = 114) and an equal number of children who snored never or occasionally were given the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children, a validated questionnaire for the assessment of pediatric sleep problems. Snoring status was re-assessed using the initial questionnaire and children were then classified as long-term habitual snorers or ex-habitual snorers. An increasing prevalence of sleep problems was found with increasing snoring frequency for sleep-onset delay, night awakenings, and nightmares. Long-term habitual snorers were at significantly increased risk for sleep–wake transition disorders (e.g. rhythmic movements, hypnic jerks, sleeptalking, bruxism; odds ratio, 95% confidence interval: 12.0, 3.8–37.3), sleep hyperhidrosis (3.6, 1.2–10.8), disorders of arousal/nightmares (e.g. sleepwalking, sleep terrors, nightmares; 4.6, 1.3–15.6), and excessive somnolence (i.e. difficulty waking up, morning tiredness, daytime somnolence; 6.3, 2.2–17.8). Ex-habitual snorers were at increased risk for sleep–wake transition disorders (4.4, 1.4–14.2). Habitual snoring was associated with several sleep problems in our study. Long-term habitual snorers were more likely to have sleep problems than children who had stopped snoring spontaneously.

Keywords: children; disorders of Excessive Somnolence; sleep disorders; sleep-disordered breathing; snoring

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Neonatology, University Hospital of Tuebingen, Tuebingen 2: Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Neonatology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover

Publication date: March 1, 2007


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