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Sleep disturbances tied to emotional, behavioral difficulties in young children

A natural history of sleep disturbances is associated with resolved and incident emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBDs) among preschool-aged children, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in JAMA Network Open.

Yujiao Deng, Ph.D., from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, soma bringer english patch complete and colleagues examined the association between the natural history of sleep disturbances and resolved and incident EBDs in a cohort study of children enrolled in preschools in Shanghai. Overall, 20,324 children aged 3 to 4 years were recruited, of whom 17,233 participated in the two-year follow-up. The analyses included 17,182 participants.

The researchers found that the prevalence of EBDs was 27.8 and 18.7 percent at school entry and graduation years, respectively, while the prevalence of sleep disturbances was 41.3 and 31.5 percent, respectively. Overall, 35.0 and 50.0 percent of those with EBDs and sleep disturbances in the entry year, respectively, maintained stability in the graduation year.

The odds ratios for resolved EBDs were lower in the incident sleep disturbance (ISD) group and stable sleep disturbance (SSD) group compared to the group with no sleep disturbance (odds ratios, 0.50 and 0.47, respectively) after controlling for confounding factors. The odds ratios for incident EBDs were higher among the ISD and SSD groups than the group with no sleep disturbances (odds ratios, 2.58 and 2.29, respectively).

“Our findings support the consistent integration of questions about sleep into routine developmental screenings in school and primary care contexts,” the authors write.

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