Sleep pressure correlates of cognitive and behavioral morbidity in snoring children

Louise M. O'Brien, Riva Tauman, David Gozal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Sleep architecture is not preserved in children with sleep-disordered breathing but, rather, undergoes dynamic changes that exhibit significant correlation with severity of sleep-disordered breathing. A sleep pressure score (SPS) with a cutoff value of 0.25 was derived from analysis of a large cohort of snoring and control children. Neurocognitive batteries were applied to examine the potential effect of SPS. Design: Prospective study. Participants: 199 children who underwent a battery of neurobehavioral tests following an overnight sleep study were assigned to SPSHigh (≥ 0.25) or SPSLow (< 0.25) groups, and their neurocognitive performances were compared. Results: Children in the SPSHigh group were significantly more likely to have deficits in memory, language abilities, verbal abilities, and some visuospatial functions than were children in the SPSLow group. These effects remained highly significant after adjusting for confounding variables and exhibited small to moderate effect sizes. Conclusions: We conclude that a sleep-pressure numerical factor derived from the overnight polysomnogram in snoring children is associated with deficits in neurobehavioral daytime functions that is independent of respiratory disturbance and hypoxemia and suggests a significant role for disturbed sleep homeostasis in pediatric sleep-disordered breathing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-282
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteR01HL065270


    • Behavior
    • Cognitive function
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Sleep fragmentation
    • Sleep-disordered breathing
    • Snoring


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