• Jennifer A. AccardoEmail author


Insomnia, especially sleep-onset association disorder type, is common among children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, though more often studied under the heading of sleep problems than in its own right. It has been defined as difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, and/or sleep quality that is persistent and impairing, and multiple prior diagnostic subtypes have been folded into a single category. Effects of insomnia in children on family sleep and dynamics can be significant. Not all sleep problems constitute insomnia, as, for instance, external forces can deprive children of adequate opportunity for sleep. Current practice suggests detailed evaluation for and treatment of any medical and psychiatric contributors, the use of behavioral and environmental strategies, and potential medication use to alleviate symptoms. Relevant future directions for study are manifold and involve moving away from describing the scope of the problem and toward more detailed phenotyping and applications for treatment.


Children Neurodevelopmental disabilities Insomnia Inadequate sleep Short sleep duration Behavioral insomnia of sleep Sleep problems 



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder


Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision




International Classification of Sleep Disorders-3rd edition


Individualized Education Program


Neurodevelopmental disabilities


Obstructive sleep apnea


Rapid eye movement


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and NeurologyVirginia Commonwealth University School of MedicineRichmondUSA

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