Children from Low Income Families More Likely to Have Sleep Problems

BOSTON – EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 7 A.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007 Media Contacts: Angela Babb, (651) 695-2789, ababb@aan.com Robin Stinnett, (651) 695-2763, rstinnett@aan.com AAN Press Room HCC 203 (April 28 – May 4): (617) 954-3126 Children from Low Income Families More Likely to Have Sleep Problems BOSTON – Children from low income families have more sleep problems than children from middle class families, potentially impacting their health and performance at school, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 – May 5, 2007. The study compared the sleeping habits of 64 healthy inner city children, who were African American and Hispanic, to the sleeping patterns of children from middle class, Caucasian families. The children were 4 to 10 years old. Parents were asked to fill out a survey, which examined amount of sleep, sleep anxiety, night awakenings, night terrors, bed wetting, sleep walking, sleep disordered breathing, daytime sleepiness, bedtime resistance, and the time it took their children to fall asleep. The study found children from low income families had 25 percent more incidents of sleeping problems than children from middle class families. "While these results aren't surprising, they need to be followed up with a study involving a larger number of children since sleeping problems can have a negative impact on a child’s health and may hinder a child’s performance at school," said study author Anuj Chawla, MS, with Tulane University's School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. The study was performed at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, under the supervision of Sanjeev Kothare, MD, member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of over 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.


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