Sleep Difficulties in Infancy Are Associated with Symptoms of Inattention and Hyperactivity at the Age of 5 Years: A Longitudinal Study


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Abstract

Objective:Sleep difficulties are associated with cognitive and behavioral problems in childhood. However, it is still unclear whether early sleep difficulties are related to later development. We studied whether parent-reported sleep duration, night awakenings, and parent-reported sleep problems in early childhood are associated with symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years.Method:Our study is based on the Child-Sleep birth cohort initially comprising 1673 families, of which 713 were retained at the age of 5 years. We used the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire and the Infant Sleep Questionnaire, which were filled out by the parents when their child was 3, 8, and 24 months and 5 years old. Symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Five-to-Fifteen questionnaire.Results:Sleep duration at the age of 3, 8, and 24 months was associated with inattentiveness at 5 years of age. Moreover, parent-reported sleep problems at the age of 24 months were related to both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms at the age of 5 years. Finally, at the age of 5 years, parent-reported sleep problems and night awakenings were associated with concurrent symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.Conclusion:Our findings suggest that certain sleep characteristics related to sleep quality and quantity in early childhood are associated with inattentiveness and hyperactivity at the age of 5 years. Interestingly, sleep duration in early childhood is consistently related to inattention at the age of 5 years.

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