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Prevalence of Sleep Disorders Among Primary School Children

Gupta R., Goel D., Kandpal S.D., Mittal N., Dhyani M., Mittal M.

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Commented by Guy Bogaert

This article is entitled “prevalence of sleep disorders”, but I would rather call it “Variation of sleep pattern in children”. Do we know what a “normal sleep is”, as from this study, the authors conclude that there is such a large variation of events such as: parasomnia, sleep-talking, sleep-walking, teeth grinding, bad dreams, night terrors, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, sweating, saliva drooling, and of course nocturnal enuresis. Is something frequent equal to normal? They have found an incidence of 9% nocturnal enuresis, which is a number we would have expected.



To screen symptoms of sleep disorders among primary school children.


Four schools from urban area and four rural schools were included in this study. Symptoms of sleep disorders were assessed using the validated Hindi version of Childhood Sleep Habit Questionnaire in 8-13 y old children. Comparison was made between urban and rural group and between boys and girls. Descriptive statistics was calculated.


Mean age of the subjects included in this study was 8.9 ± 1.5 y. Boys and girls were equally distributed, however, rural sample was smaller. More than one awakening each night was found in 12.2 % children. In the whole group, prevalence of bed-wetting was 8.7 %, sleep-talking 20.9 %, sleep-walking 3.2 %, teeth grinding 15.4 % and night terrors 8.4 %. Daytime sleepiness was reported by 25.5 % and napping by 56.4 %. 17.3 % used to fall asleep in unusual circumstances and the teacher or the friend in 6.9 % students noticed it. Snoring was reported by 11.4 % children, and 6.3 % reportedly struggled to breathe during sleep. Domicile and gender did not affect prevalence of parasomnia, however, symptoms of sleep apnea were more frequent among rural children. Daytime sleepiness was more common among rural children as compared to urban.


Symptoms of sleep disorders are prevalent among primary school children. Common disorders are parasomnia, sleep apnea and daytime sleepiness.


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Consensus Guidelines

Practical consensus guidelines for the management of enuresis. 
Evaluation and management of enuresis, a common condition, is not a priority in training programs for medical doctors (MDs), despite being a common condition.