The Cologne Children’s Sleep Study intended to provide information on prevalence and course of difficulties of initiating and maintaining sleep in childhood.
Children of the fourth grade of elementary schools in Cologne.
832 children and their parents; the mean age of the children
was 9.4, 10.7, and 11.7 years at the 3 assessments.
Measurements and Results:
Children and parents were surveyed using questionnaires 3 times on an annual basis. In self- and parental reports, about 30%-40% of the children of the longitudinal sample had problems falling asleep at the first assessment. One year later, about 30% to 40% of these children did not describe any difficulties initiating sleep, whereas about 60% did report continuing difficulties initiating sleep. Difficulties maintaining sleep are less common in childhood. The analysis of self- and parental reports revealed that in general children described significantly more difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep than their parents report.
Difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep may be transient or persistent. In practice, children and adolescents should be included in the diagnostic and therapeutic process.