Sleep disorders in children are commonly screened via the BEARS (Bedtime, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Awakening during the night, Regularity and duration of sleep, Snoring) questionnaire. Now investigators have shown that long-term benefits are seen through regular screening and timely interventions not only for children, but also for their parents.
Investigators examined the parentally perceived prevalence of sleep disorders in the pediatric waiting rooms of 2 family health centers. Parents filled out an anonymous modified BEARS questionnaire per child that asked whether they believed that a sleep disorder was present and if the perceived disorder affected their child’s health or family life.
In 300 surveys collected from both sites, parents reported the sleep disorders present or affecting family life as bedtime problems, excessive daytime sleepiness, nocturnal awakenings, poor regularity of sleep, and snoring. Irregular sleep was reported by 21.3% and snoring by 13.7%; both problems were reported by 5% of parents as affecting family life.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening for pediatric sleep disorders by clinicians because parents may describe any sleep problem, particularly those disturbing their own sleep, as a disorder.
Krishna J, Lonzer D, Medina M. Parental perception of sleep disorders in urban family health centers in the greater Cleveland area. Sleep. 2013;36(Suppl):A349-A350. Abstract 1019.