Sleep problems in children and adolescents with epilepsy: Associations with psychiatric comorbidity.


Sleep problems are common in pediatric epilepsy and may influence seizure control, daytime functioning, and overall quality of life. Knowledge of factors contributing to sleep problems is likely to improve treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between psychiatric comorbidity and parent-reported and self-reported sleep problems in a sample of children and adolescents with epilepsy. Participants were children and adolescents (N = 94), aged 10-19 years, with generalized or focal epilepsy who had been referred to a tertiary epilepsy treatment center in Norway. Participants underwent a thorough clinical assessment and 24h of EEG registration. Information on sleep problems was obtained from parents using the Children’s Sleep Habit Questionnaire (CSHQ) and from self-reporting using the Sleep Self-Report (SSR) questionnaire. Psychiatric diagnoses were established using the semistructured psychiatric interview Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Present and Lifetime Version (Kiddie-SADS-PL). Both the total and subdomain CSHQ and SSR scores were high in comparison with scores from population-based samples. Having one or more psychiatric disorder(s) was significantly associated with elevated scores on both the CSHQ and the SSR. With the exception of parent-reported parasomnias, associations between sleep problems and psychiatric disorders remained significant after adjusting for relevant epilepsy variables. Psychiatric comorbidity explained about one-third of the variance of the reported sleep problems in children and adolescents with epilepsy.