Sleep disturbance in children with migraine

Kenneth Heng, Elaine C Wirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study were to determine if (1) children with migraine experience greater sleep disturbances than their siblings, (2) those with more severe migraine have greater levels of sleep disruption, and (3) these sleep disturbances lead to greater behavioral problems and more missed school. Children aged 6 to 18 years with a diagnosis of migraine for > 6 months, who had at least one sibling without migraine in the same age range, were identified through our neurology clinic database or at the time of the clinic visit. Parents completed the (1) demographic, general health, and migraine information questionnaire; (2) Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire; and (3) Behavior Assessment System for Children: Second Edition (BASC-2) Parent Rating Scales for each child. Cases with migraine had higher total sleep (P < .02), sleep delay (P < .03), and daytime sleepiness scores (P < .001) than controls. Cases with more severe migraines had higher total sleep (P < .01) and sleep duration scores (P < .03) than those with milder headaches. In cases, higher total sleep scores predicted greater behavior problems on all four composite scales on the Behavior Assessment System for Children: Second Edition (Externalizing Problems, P < .05; Internalizing Problems, P < .005; Behavior Systems Index, P < .003; and Adaptability Skills, P < .006). We conclude that children with migraine are prone to greater sleep and behavioral disturbances than children without headache. Sleep disorders should be routinely queried and appropriate advice on sleep hygiene provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-766
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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