Behavioural difficulties are common in children with sleep disorders. However, up to now no study has investigated the association between sleep-related movement disorders (SRMD) and behavior in children with craniofacial cleft. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and impact of SRMD and growing pains in daytime/bedtime behavior in young children with cleft palate.
Cross-sectional survey study of sleep and behavior in 2.0-6.9 year old children with cleft palate. Parents completed the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire, which queries reports of periodic limb movements (PLMS), restless leg syndrome (RLS), growing pains, daytime sleepiness, sleep latency/duration, and the Conners’ Early Childhood Questionnaire which asks about behavioral difficulties.
Among 71 children with cleft palate (52.1% boys) 14.1 % screened positive for PLMS, 8.5% reported RLS and 9.9% growing pains. Children who screened positive for PLMS and RLS were more likely to report sleepiness (PLMS 40% vs. 4.9%, p = 0.001; RLS 33.3% vs. 7.7%, p = 0.04) and long sleep latency (PLMS 80% vs. 32.8%, p = 0.005; RLS 100% vs. 33.8%, p = 0.002) compared to those who did not endorse the respective sleep problems. Children who reported PLMS had a higher T-score for emotional (58.2 ± 7.6 vs. 50.7 ± 8.4, p = 0.01) and somatic symptoms (66.2 ± 15.2 vs. 49.9 ± 9.5, p = 0.0001). Sleepiness was associated to an increased frequency of externalizing, psychiatric and somatic problems. While children with long sleep latency reported more emotional and somatic symptoms, and those with reduced sleep duration more internalizing difficulties.
Parents of young children with cleft palate reported frequently PLMS, RLS and growing pains. Daytime/bedtime behavior varies depending on the presence of SRMD. Sleepiness and sleep variables might play a role on behavioural problems in children with cleft and SRMD symptoms.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.