In a study of 1,000 children starting when they were toddlers, researchers found that those with sleep disorders at age 4 were at increased risk for mental health problems (anxiety and depression) at age 6. Insomnia was noted to be the most common type of sleep disorder and diagnosed in nearly 17% of the children at age 4 and in 43% of them at age 6. Insomnia increased the risk of anxiety, depression and ADHD at age 4 and the risk of behavioral problems at age 6.
It was also noted that children with anxiety, depression, ADHD and behavioral problems at age 4 were also at increased risk for insomnia at age 6. It was theorized that both problems have similar genetic causes or share the same risk factors. Research clearly showed it is important to identify children with sleep disorders early so remedial measures can be taken to avoid affecting a child’s dayto-day functioning and longterm repercussions. –Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics