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1/1. The pathophysiology of sleep disorders in pediatrics. Part II. sleep disorders in children.

    In this part of the chapter we have used new terminology and developed a new system for classification of sleep disorders in children. We suggest that excessive daytime sleepiness should be investigated by clinicians before troubles at school necessitate referral. The narcolepsy-hypersomnia syndrome generally has not been recognized in the pediatric age group. Symptoms of excessive fear of falling asleep need to be viewed in this context. Sleep apnea-hypersomnia has received insufficient attention in the American literature. It is a syndrome that affects both adults and children with potentially disastrous cardiovascular and pulmonary complications. The relationship of the sleep apnea-hypersomnia syndrome to the sudded infant death syndrome remains speculative, although preliminary results from our longitudinal study have indicated a possible link. Both the narcolepsy-hypersomnia and the sleep apnea-hypersomnia syndromes are reviewed in detail. In contrast, we review briefly the NREM dyssomnias, including night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep talking and enuresis. All are well known to clinicians dealing with children, and we have related them to findings emanating from the sleep laboratory. We suggest that they are physiologically rather than psychogenically based and frequently represent immaturities of the central nervous system. Finally, the insomnias of childhood are presented. We emphasize that they are rare, and after ruling out organic conditions and drug-dependency syndromes, cultural styles or family stresses generally account for the majority of complaints.
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