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Electroencephalographic sleep profiles and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA)-activity in kindergarten children: early indication of poor sleep quality associated with increased cortisol secretion


Hatzinger, M; Brand, S; Perren, S; Stadelmann, S; von Wyl, A; von Klitzing, K; Holsboer-Trachsler, E (2008). Electroencephalographic sleep profiles and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA)-activity in kindergarten children: early indication of poor sleep quality associated with increased cortisol secretion. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42(7):532-543.

Abstract

Objectives: In children, objective data carried out from sleep EEG monitoring are scarce. Furthermore, results associating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA)-activity with sleep EEG measurements in children are missing. Therefore, our study aimed to investigate in preschool-children the association between sleep patterns and endocrine activity. Furthermore, children's behavioral/emotional difficulties and competences were assessed in order to correlate psychological strain with sleep measures.
Participants and methods: Sixty-seven kindergarten children (35 boys and 32 girls) aged 5.34 underwent EEG-monitoring for one night. For baseline HPA-activity assessment, saliva samples were collected immediately after awakening, whereas saliva samples before, while and after a psychological challenge were used to assess the HPA-activity under stress conditions.
Results: Compared to girls, boys showed significantly more REM sleep time. After cluster analysis, children labeled as 'poor' sleepers (n=27; 40,30%) showed significantly increased morning cortisol values, as compared to 'good' sleepers (n=22; 32,83%). Furthermore, increased cortisol AUC values under stress conditions were significantly associated with an elevated number of awakenings after sleep onset, and more sleep time in stages 1 and 2. In addition, an increased sleep efficiency was significantly correlated with self-reported emotional/behavioral difficulties, i.e. with low degrees of impulsivity (r=-.31; p<.05) and lower degrees of social inhibition and peer victimiziation (r=-.26, p<.05).
Conclusions: Our results underlined that already in preschool years, associations between objectively examined unfavorable sleep patterns, increased HPA-system activity and more difficult behavioral and psychosocial dimensions may be observed.

Objectives: In children, objective data carried out from sleep EEG monitoring are scarce. Furthermore, results associating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA)-activity with sleep EEG measurements in children are missing. Therefore, our study aimed to investigate in preschool-children the association between sleep patterns and endocrine activity. Furthermore, children's behavioral/emotional difficulties and competences were assessed in order to correlate psychological strain with sleep measures.
Participants and methods: Sixty-seven kindergarten children (35 boys and 32 girls) aged 5.34 underwent EEG-monitoring for one night. For baseline HPA-activity assessment, saliva samples were collected immediately after awakening, whereas saliva samples before, while and after a psychological challenge were used to assess the HPA-activity under stress conditions.
Results: Compared to girls, boys showed significantly more REM sleep time. After cluster analysis, children labeled as 'poor' sleepers (n=27; 40,30%) showed significantly increased morning cortisol values, as compared to 'good' sleepers (n=22; 32,83%). Furthermore, increased cortisol AUC values under stress conditions were significantly associated with an elevated number of awakenings after sleep onset, and more sleep time in stages 1 and 2. In addition, an increased sleep efficiency was significantly correlated with self-reported emotional/behavioral difficulties, i.e. with low degrees of impulsivity (r=-.31; p<.05) and lower degrees of social inhibition and peer victimiziation (r=-.26, p<.05).
Conclusions: Our results underlined that already in preschool years, associations between objectively examined unfavorable sleep patterns, increased HPA-system activity and more difficult behavioral and psychosocial dimensions may be observed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:07 Nov 2008 14:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:32
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2007.05.010
PubMed ID:17645894
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5097

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