Children with neurodevelopmental disorders are at increased risk for sleep issues, which affect quality of life, cognitive function, and behavior. To determine the prevalence of sleep problems in children with the common neurodevelopmental disorder neurofibromatosis type 1, a cross-sectional study was performed on 129 affected subjects and 89 unaffected siblings, age 2 to 17 years, using the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children questionnaire. Children with neurofibromatosis type 1 were significantly more likely to have disturbances in initiating and maintaining sleep, arousal, sleep-wake transition, and hyperhidrosis, but not problems with abnormal sleep breathing, or excessive somnolence. Although the overall sleep scores were higher in children with neurofibromatosis type 1, this was not related to a coexisting attention deficit disorder, cognitive impairment, or stimulant medication use. Collectively, these results demonstrate that children with neurofibromatosis type 1 are more likely to have sleep disturbances, and support the use of appropriate interventions for this at-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1405
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • NF1
  • brain tumor
  • neurocutaneous disorders
  • sleep disturbances


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