Cerebral Palsy

  • Eugenio Mercuri
  • Domenico M. Romeo


In the present chapter we provide an overview of sleep disorders in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Sleep disorders are more frequent in CP than in typically developing children with a prevalence varying from 19% to 63% according to different studies. The etiology is multifactorial, with anatomical factors, epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs, the severity of motor and cognitive impairment, and the presence of behavioral problems all frequently involved. Screening questionnaires, polysomnography, and actigraphy represent the principal instruments to assess general and specific sleep disorders in CP. Although no sleep interventions or trials specifically designed for sleep disorders in children with CP are reported in the literature, sleep hygiene and/or specific pharmacologic treatments such as melatonin can be considered helpful for disturbed sleep in children with CP. Because of the presence of sleep disorders influence the quality of life of all the family, a correct diagnosis and treatment could improve not only the health of the child but of all the caregivers.


Sleep disorders Cerebral palsy Behavioral problems Epilepsy Obstructive sleep apnea Sleep questionnaire Quality of life Melatonin Sleep hygiene Surgical treatment 

List of Abbreviations


Cerebral palsy


Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire


Disorders of initiation and maintenance of sleep


Excessive daytime sleepiness




Gross Motor Function Classification System


Neurodevelopmental disabilities


Obstructive sleep apnea




Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire


Quality of life


Rapid eye movement


Sleep-disordered breathing


Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children


Sleep-wake transition disorders


Typically developing


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugenio Mercuri
    • 1
  • Domenico M. Romeo
    • 1
  1. 1.Pediatric Neurology Unit, Policlinico GemelliCatholic UniversityRomeItaly

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