For a study, researchers sought to explore the relationships between parent-reported sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and device-assessed sleep behaviors and behavioral and emotional functioning in overweight/obese pediatric patients.

The cross-sectional research comprised 109 children with overweight/obesity (mean age, 10.0±1.1 years). They assessed SDB and its subscales (snoring, daytime drowsiness, and inattention/hyperactivity) using the Spanish version of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ). Wrist-worn accelerometers were used to determine device-assessed sleep behaviors (such as wake time, sleep onset time, total time in bed, total sleep time, and awakening after sleep onset). To measure behavioral and emotional functioning, they utilized the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (i.e., clinical scale: aggressiveness, hyperactivity, behavior problems, attention problems, atypicality, depression, anxiety, retreat, & somatization; adaptive scale: adaptability, social skills, & leadership). 

SDB was favorably linked with all clinical scale factors (all β>0.197, P<.041) and negatively associated with adaptability and leadership (all β<-0.226, P<.021). The PSQ subscale for daytime drowsiness, in particular, was linked with higher attention issues, sadness, anxiety, and retreat (all β>0.196, P≤.045) and reduced adaptability (β=0.246, P=.011). Except for somatization, the inattention/hyperactivity subscale was strongly linked with the complete clinical and adaptive scales (all β>|0.192|, P≤.046). The snoring subscale and device-assisted sleep habits had no relationship with behavioral or emotional functioning characteristics.

The findings implied that SDB symptoms, but not device-measured sleep habits, were related to behavioral and emotional functioning in children who are overweight or obese. Daytime drowsiness, a putative SDB symptom, was found to be associated with increased attention issues, sadness, anxiety, retreat, and reduced adaptability.