Deirdre Budd’s Blog

Archive for January 2010

Data from 700 children between the age of 5 and 12 years was collected for the study  which looked at parent reported insomnia in children. Assistant professor R.Singareddy from the department of Psychiatry at Penn State college of medicine believes that children who have insomnia symptoms should be screened by their own family doctor for underlying medical conditions.

All the children in this study had a full medical and psychiatric examination, overnight polysomnography and neuropsychological testing. Children with sleep disturbances had significantly more complaints of gastrointestinal symptoms and it was found that gastrointestinal regurgitation and headaches remained significantly associated with insomnia symptoms.

Parent reported insomnia (having trouble falling asleep and/or waking frequently in the night)  was identified in 19% of those reported. Gastrointestinal regurgitation was reported in 7.5%  children with insomnia and 2% of children who did not have insomnia. Headaches were reported in 24.4%  children with insomnia and 13.2% of children who did not have insomnia.

Insomnia symptoms may have resulted in the medical complaints as there are significant recognised physiological changes in the respiratory,cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems during sleep. Activation of the stress response system in association with hyperarousal could have been responsible for both sleep complaints and medical problems in these children.

This study suggests that further should explore whether treatment of sleep complaints improve the medical problems and vice versa.

Behavioural treatment approaches to bed time struggles and sleep disorders have a well documented basis and remain the mainstay of treatment. 94% of studies to date, report that behavioural interventions as a whole produce clinically significant improvements in both bed time resistance and night waking.

If you have concerns about your child’s sleep, contact we can help you to improve your child’s sleep.


Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered a technique which is able to determine if a child habitually snores or has obstructive sleep apnoea by screening their urine. The study results are published in the December 15th issue of the American Thoracic Society’s journal of Critical Care Medicine. Professor and chairman of the Pediatrics department, David Gozal, who was lead author of the study, hopes to validate the findings in urine samples and develop a single colour based test that could be done by the parents or the family doctor.  

It is estimated that one to three percent of children up to age 9 may suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, many more, an estimated twelve percent experience habitual snoring. Differentiating between habitual snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea is important.  Obstructive sleep apnoea can lead to cognitive, behavioural, cardiovascular and metabolic consequences in children and is often resolved by removing enlarged tonsils and adenoids, although some children may require further treatment after surgery.

 The researchers studied 90 children who had been referred to the sleep clinic for evaluation. 30 healthy non snoring children from the community were recruited to act as a control. All underwent standard overnight sleep polysomnography and the results categorised in three groups. Non snoring children, habitual snoring and obstructive  sleep apnoeic children.

These children’s urine, sample taken from the morning after the sleep study, was screened using a sophisticated electrophoresis technique which screens for hundreds of proteins simultaneously. It was noted that a number of these proteins were expressed differently in the three different groups. This was unexpected. Since the field of biomarkers is expanding there is hope that in the future this test can be simplified and available to family doctors and to parents.


January 2010
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