Italian children and adolescents do not always sleep soundly. 15% of the youngest, aged 3 to 14, suffer from sleep disorders and this percentage rises to 30% even among children under 3 years old. 

This leads to serious consequences including behavioral changes, difficulties in school activities, memory problems and, more generally, neuro-developmental alterations.

These are some of the data that emerged at the XIII National Congress of the Italian Federation of Medical Pediatricians (FIMP) in Paestum, with the participation of over 1,000 family paediatricians.

“The reports to the family pediatrician of sleep disorders arrive up to three years after the onset of the problem – says Paolo Biasci, national president of FIMP. These excessive and frequent diagnostic delays can seriously affect health and well-being. in fact, sleepless nights are the manifestation of very serious and dangerous diseases, so parents must learn not to underestimate a fundamental aspect of their children’s lives and report any anomaly to their family pediatrician as soon as possible “.

The sleepless nights are “an alarm bell to watch out for – stresses Emanuela Malorgio, national coordinator of the FIMP Studio Sonno Group -. They can be linked to wrong behaviors on the part of parents at the time of falling asleep and during children’s night awakenings. Or they are caused by diseases like parasomnias, epilepsies or restless legs syndrome.

Then there are those children who move a lot during the night and who wake up tired and sleepy in the morning. Early diagnosis and adequate treatment allow to prevent alterations in the neurological and psychological development of the child. “For over three years, the FIMP has promoted the Good Night Project:” We are planning the creation of training courses for pediatricians throughout the national territory – he concludes Mattia Doria, Secretary for Scientific Activities of the FIMP -. The goal is to deepen the themes of sleep hygiene and develop more sleep education strategies and early recognition of its disorders “.