Sleep, sleepiness, and behavior problems in children with headache

Cendrine Bursztein, Tamar Steinberg, Avi Sadeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to assess sleep, daytime sleepiness, and behavior problems in children suffering from headaches and in controls, with a special focus on the role of gender. A clinical group of 28 children with persistent headache complaints and a control group of 108 healthy children were included. Sleep was assessed by actigraphy and diaries. Behavior problems were assessed by parental reports. In comparison with the control group, the sleep quality of the clinical group was poorer and they complained more about excessive daytime sleepiness. Children suffering from headache showed higher levels of internalizing behavior problems. Gender was found to be a moderating factor for the relationships between headache and sleep. Compared with control girls, girls suffering from headaches had poorer sleep quality, whereas the opposite was true for the boys. The results highlight the importance of assessing sleep, daytime sleepiness and psychologic adjustment in children complaining about headaches as an integral part of their routine assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1019
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


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