Sleep disorders are common, often overlooked problem in Down syndrome, particularly during childhood. Comorbidities such as congenital heart disease often present early and management of these needs to take priority. However, this can result in the lack of early development of good sleep habits and may also lead to the perception that sleep issues are an expected problem in children with Down syndrome, which do not require intervention. Studies have shown that sleep problems continue to be under-reported by parents of children with Down syndrome, even though conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea are up to six times more common in this population. Therefore an understanding of the nature of sleep problems in Down syndrome is important for anyone working with this group. In this chapter we provide an overview of this topic, highlighting the key sleep issues encountered by children with Down syndrome, as well as providing a general approach to evaluation and management.
Part of the book: Advances in Research on Down Syndrome