This is our last “SLEEPtember” post as September has now come and gone. Although the #ASAAbedhead and #sleeptember #MillenniumSleepLab campaign is drawing to a close it remains critical that awareness and healthy sleeping continue and that their counter effects continue to be discussed and understood in greater detail. Please continue to use our hashtags when posting your own experience and stories related to getting a good night’s sleep.

#SLEEPtember – Sleep problems in pre-term children

A recent study shows that preterm children displayed more medical sleep problems such as nocturnal movement, restlessness during the night, and breathing problems, compared with those born at full term. However, a lower degree of behavioral sleep problems were present in preterm children.

Mothers completed a series of questionnaires to assess sleep-related difficulties, sleep habits, and child temperament. The study found no differences between the 2 groups of children in bedtime, rise time, or sleep duration. However sleep problems reported by the parents of pre-terms may have resulted in sleep disruption, which could help explain significant differences in attention and emotionality.

These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that children born pre-term are at risk of attention and learning problems as well as emotional difficulties. For this reason, it is important that pediatricians screen for sleep problems more rigorously in pre-term children, especially with respect to sleep-related breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related movement disorders.