Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 24 (ANI): A new study has recently revealed that healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems like nocturnal movement, restlessness during the night and breathing problems than full-term children.
"Preterm children needed less support to fall asleep and fell asleep more often alone in their own bed compared to those born at full term," said principal investigator Dr Barbara Caravale from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy.
Their average age was 21 months.
The mothers completed a series of questionnaires to assess the sleep-related difficulties, sleep habits and child temperament.
They found no differences between the two groups of children in bedtime, rise time or sleep duration.
However, Caravale noted that the sleep problems reported by the parents of preterm may have resulted in sleep disruption, which could help explain significant differences in attention and emotionality.
"We observed a link between sleep pattern and temperament in preterm children," Caravale stated.
According to the authors, these results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that children born preterm 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 preterm children, especially with respect to sleep-related breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related movement disorders.
The research appears in journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. (ANI)