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Jun 08, 2015 01:38 PM EDT

Children With Traumatic Brain Injuries May Have Poorer Sleep

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New research suggests that children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have poorer sleep and are sleepier during the daytime in comparison to children who have not suffered from this complex injury.

Researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago found that children with TBI were more likely to experience greater daytime sleepiness, sleep disturbances and a poorer overall sleep quality.

"We were surprised that children with a TBI experienced persistent increases in daytime sleepiness and decreases in sleep quality compared to healthy children," Kimberly Allen, principal investigator of the study and assistant professor at the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research,  said in a statement.

For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from 30 children. Fifteen children had TBI and the other half were healthy children. The parents of these children completed three surveys related to their child's sleep behaviors and sleep quality.

Researchers also found that children with TBI also had impaired emotional, physical and social functioning when compared to healthy children.

Previous studies have suggested that TBI can have a great impact on long-term memory.

The findings, which were made possible by T32 grant from the University of Washington with mentorship from Drs. Karen Thomas and Carol Landis, are detailed in the journal Sleep.

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