Sleep Sufficiency in Pediatric and Adolescent Tourette's Disorder: National Survey of Children's Health

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The present study compared sleep sufficiency in youth with current Tourette's disorder (TD), history of TD and matched case controls, and examined predictors of sufficient sleep using a large US population–based survey.


Participants were 673 caregivers of youth aged 6 to 17 years (298 with current TD, 122 with a history of TD with no endorsement of current diagnosis, and 254 matched case controls) from the 2007 and 2011–2012 versions of the National Survey of Children's Health. History and current TD status, current comorbidity (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression) and psychiatric medication status were assessed by yes/no items. Current TD severity was dichotomized into mild or moderate/severe symptoms. Sleep was assessed by parent-reported number of sufficient nights their child slept in the past week.


Univariate analysis of variance yielded significant group differences in nights of sufficient sleep (F[2,369.70] = 71.53, p < .001), with controls having 1.5 more nights per week relative to both TD groups (p < .001). With respect to predictors of sufficient sleep, the analysis of covariance yielded a significant age × sex × TD severity interaction (F[1,15.84] = 4.28, p = .04) such that older adolescent males with mild TD had significantly fewer nights of sufficient sleep than children (p = .004) and early adolescents (p = .002; F[2,54.93] = 7.45, p = .001). Early adolescent females with moderate/severe TD had fewer nights of sufficient sleep relative to males (p = .008). Comorbidity type and psychiatric medication status did not significantly predict sleep.


Findings suggest that insufficient sleep in youth with TD persists independently of comorbidity or psychiatric medication status. Findings highlight the importance of clinical sleep monitoring in this population.

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