Psychosocial and somatic outcomes of sleep problems in children: a 4-year follow-up study
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 60–67, January 2014
How to Cite
Simola, P., Liukkonen, K., Pitkäranta, A., Pirinen, T. and Aronen, E. T. (2014), Psychosocial and somatic outcomes of sleep problems in children: a 4-year follow-up study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 40: 60–67. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01412.x
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 MAY 2012
- Foundation for Children's Diseases
- Sigrid Juselius Foundation
- Finnish Cultural Foundation
- Helsinki University Central Hospital
- child sleep problems;
- medical problems;
- psychosocial symptoms;
- remedial class
Inadequate sleep in children relates to medical and psychosocial problems. However, not much is known about the effects of sleep problems persisting from pre-school to school age on somatic and psychosocial symptoms.
To examine the associations between sleep disturbances and psychosocial symptoms, somatic complaints, medical problems at school age.
This was a population-based 4-year follow-up study of sleep problems in Finnish children (n = 470). Parents filled in Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children during pre-school and school years. Children were categorized into four groups: no sleep problems, sleep problems only at pre-school or only at school age, and persistent sleep problems. At follow-up the parents filled in Child Behavior Checklist and a background questionnaire.
The children with persistent sleep problems (9%) had a 16-fold risk of having psychosocial symptoms on subclinical/clinical range compared with the children without sleep problems. The psychosocial symptoms that were related strongest to prolonged sleep problems were aggression, social and attention problems, and anxious/depressed mood. Also, somatic complaints (ninefold risk) and medical problems (P < 0.001) were typical for children with persistent sleep problems.
Persistent sleep problems in children associate with high levels of psychosocial, somatic and medical problems. In paediatric health care more attention should be paid to recognizing, monitoring of the persistence and treatment of sleep problems before school transition period.