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Parental report of sleep problems in Down syndrome


Dr Jennifer H. Breslin, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, 1503 E. University Boulevard, PO Box 210068, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA (e-mail:


Background  Children with Down syndrome (DS) suffer from sleep problems, including sleep maintenance problems, as well as snoring, and other symptoms of disordered breathing. To examine sleep in DS, we gave parents a questionnaire assessing their child's sleep.

Materials and methods  The parents of 35 children with DS (mean age = 12.65 years, range = 7–18 years) completed the 33-item Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire.

Results  Eighty-five per cent of our sample had sleep disturbance scores in the clinical range (mean = 48.63, SD = 7.15, range = 34–64). Our sample also had significantly elevated scores on the Bedtime Resistance, Sleep Anxiety, Night Wakings, Parasomnias, Sleep Disordered Breathing and Daytime Sleepiness subscales.

Conclusions  Children with DS are at risk for developing symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, and may have additional sleep problems that are unrelated to sleep disordered breathing.