The relationship between sleep and headache is meaningful and complex. Children affected by migraines tend to show many sleep disorders, such as insufficient sleep duration and excessive daytime somnolence. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess the rate of reported sleep habits and self-reported sleepiness in a large pediatric sample of individuals affected by migraine without aura (MoA).
The study population consisted of 271 children aged between 6 and 13 years affected by MoA. The control group was composed of 305 typically developing children. To assess the sleep habits of all individuals (MoA and control), parents filled out the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children, and to check the degree of subjective perceived daytime sleepiness, all subjects were administered the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale.
The two study groups were matched for age ( P = 0.124), sex distribution ( P = 0.775), and body mass index z-score ( P = 0.107). Parents of children affected by MoA reported a higher total score of sleep disorder symptoms ( P <0.001), disorders of initiating and maintaining ( P < 0.001), and disorders of arousal ( P < 0.001) than did parents of controls. No significant differences were found in disorders of excessive somnolence. Conversely, in the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale, migraine children had higher scores (24.67 ± 3.19 vs 11.94 ± 4.81; P < 0.001) and a reduction in referred total sleep time mean duration (469.83 ± 98.112 vs 527.94 ± 83.02; P < 0.001) than typically developing children.