• Vol. 37 No. 8, 706–709
  • 15 August 2008

Sleep Disorders in Children: The Singapore Perspective



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This review article summarises the current available literature on sleep patterns and sleep problems in Singapore children. Co-sleeping is a culturally dependent practice and its prevalence in Singapore has been determined to be 73%. Co-sleeping is not associated with significant sleep problems in Singapore children. Snoring and habitual snoring occur in 28.1% and 6.0% of Singapore children, respectively. Habitual snoring in Singapore children was significantly associated with obesity, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, maternal smoking and breastfeeding. Atopy was the strongest risk factor for habitual snoring in Singapore, and the effect was cumulative. Children attending psychiatric services in Singapore may also have sleep disorders, the highest prevalence being in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The knowledge on childhood sleep disorders (including obstructive sleep apnoea) amongst the public, patients, parents and future doctors in Singapore are inadequate and there is an urgent need for increased education in this area given the importance of good sleep in children. There is also a need to change parental attitudes about sleep disorders and encourage early medical consultation.

Sleep problems are common in children. For example, snoring occurs in more than 25% of Singapore children1 and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) occurs in 1% to 3% of children.

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