Although excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a common problem in children, with estimates of 15%; few studies have investigated the sequelae of EDS in young children. We investigated the association of EDS with objective neurocognitive measures and parent reported learning, attention/hyperactivity, and conduct problems in a large general population sample of children.
508 children from The Penn State Child Cohort.
Measurements and Results:
Children underwent a 9-h polysomnogram, comprehensive neurocognitive testing, and parent rating scales. Children were divided into 2 groups: those with and without parent-reported EDS. Structural equation modeling was used to examine whether processing speed and working memory performance would mediate the relationship between EDS and learning, attention/hyperactivity, and conduct problems. Logistic regression models suggest that parent-reported learning, attention/hyperactivity, and conduct problems, as well as objective measurement of processing speed and working memory are significant sequelae of EDS, even when controlling for AHI and objective markers of sleep. Path analysis demonstrates that processing speed and working memory performance are strong mediators of the association of EDS with learning and attention/hyperactivity problems, while to a slightly lesser degree are mediators from EDS to conduct problems.
This study suggests that in a large general population sample of young children, parent-reported EDS is associated with neurobehavioral (learning, attention/hyperactivity, conduct) problems and poorer performance in processing speed and working memory. Impairment due to EDS in daytime cognitive and behavioral functioning can have a significant impact on children's development.
Calhoun SL; Fernandez-Mendoza J; Vgontzas AN; Mayes SD; Tsaoussoglou M; Rodriguez-Muñoz A; Bixler EO. Learning, attention/hyperactivity, and conduct problems as sequelae of excessive daytime sleepiness in a general population study of young children. SLEEP 2012;35(5):627-632.