A questionnaire based survey was performed to determine the prevalence of sleep related disorders in Indian school-going children residing in Delhi. The questionnaire used for the purposes of this study was based on the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire, University of Michigan, USA. A total number of 4000 questionnaires were distributed of which 2774 were received back. A total number of 2475 questionnaires were finally selected for analysis as they satisfied all criteria for acceptance. A sub-group of patients who were suspected as having sleep disordered breathing on the basis of the questionnaire were subjected to polysomnography.
The overall prevalence of snoring was found to be 12.7% (Males=12.8%, Females=12.6%). The overall prevalence of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) was 4.8%. Approximately 24.3% of the children (26.3% males and 22.9% females) were seen to suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep deprivation(32.2%) was found to correlate positively with age (p<0.001). The overall prevalence of bedtime resistance was found to be 25.8%. About 41% (Males=41.1%, Female=40.9%) of the children experienced nightmare once in a while. Amongst all subjects, 5.8% suffered from night terrors. About 12% of the entire population (13.3% males and 10.4% females) were seen to suffer from bruxism. Approximately 7.7 % of the overall population was observed to suffer from bedwetting. Insomnia was found in 17.3% of our subjects. On the whole, approximately 47.5% of the children were observed to suffer from some form of sleep disorder.
This study is an attempt to highlight the sleep problems in general and those related to sleep-disordered breathing in particular amongst school-going children in an urban setting in North India. An attempt has been made to compare and contrast the western and Asian scenario of sleep disorders in school children with that in India. It also highlights the fact that no effort was made on the part of parents to seek medical help in the significantly large number of children in whom sleep disorders were present, indicating a total lack of awareness amongst the general population about the larger implications of sleep disorders in children.
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