Sleep disorders in childhood are common, affecting 20% to 40% of children. Despite their high prevalence, these disorders are underdiagnosed and undertreated. A recent study in which the medical charts of more than 154 000 children in Philadelphia were reviewed found that fewer than 4% contained any reference to sleep disturbances.1 Whether this is because physicians lack sufficient time to discuss sleep with their patients and families or because awareness of the importance of identifying and treating sleep disorders is lacking, ignoring such disorders can lead to significant stress within the household and, in some cases, to medical, developmental, behavioral, and cognitive impairment in the afflicted child.
Rosen D. Sleep and Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents. JAMA. 2009;302(13):1469-1470. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1430