The purpose of this study was to characterize the sleep patterns of children with intrauterine growth retardation, known to be at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, and seek a possible correlation with behavior, concentration, and attention problems. The sleep patterns of 26 children with intrauterine growth retardation aged 4 to 7 years were compared with those of 47 control children using activity monitors (actigraphs). In addition, data were collected from the parents regarding sleep habits, behavior, concentration, and attention. Children with intrauterine growth retardation aged 4 to 7 years were found to have a tendency toward poorer quality of sleep than their matched controls. This inclination was statistically significant only for one sleep measure, the true sleep time. A tendency toward increased fragmentation of sleep, prolonged waking, and decreased sleep efficiency, although not statistically significant in this study, was demonstrated. Our results showed that 58% of the children with intrauterine growth retardation, compared with 40% of the children in the control group, could be defined as "poor sleepers" (sleep efficiency lower than 90% or three or more waking episodes per night). This disturbed sleep profile is probably an integral part of the neurodevelopmental profile typical of these atrisk children. No significant correlations were found between sleep quality and behavior, concentration, and attention problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology