Sleep Issues in Children with Physical Disabilities and Their Families
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Sleep has a significant impact on the daily functioning of children and their parents. The purpose of this study was to describe the sleep patterns, issues, and strategies used to facilitate sleep in children with and without physical disabilities and their families. Data were collected from questionnaires completed by caregivers and siblings. Caregivers of children with physical disabilities reported significantly greater concerns regarding general sleep problems, safety, and discomfort at night, night wakening, daytime irritability, interference with daytime activities and sleep-related health concerns in children with physical disabilities than in their counterparts. Caregivers, but not siblings, in families of children with physical disabilities experienced an increased prevalence of sleep issues. The most frequently cited strategies to alleviate problems were the establishment of consistent routines and provision of calming, supportive sleep environments. Pediatric therapists need to assess and address sleep issues to promote the well-being of children and their families.
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