Sleep apnea in childhood migraine
© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000
In our previous study we found a high prevalence of disordered sleep breathing in migraine children vs. controls. Since no quantitative studies about sleep respiratory disorders have been carried out in migraine children, we performed a polysomnographic (PSG) study in 10 migraine patients (7 boys, 3 girls; mean age 8.11 years, range, 5.8–14.5) attending the Headache Center of our department, to evaluate the presence of sleep apnea. Mothers completed a headache diary and a sleep diary for at least 1 month and filled out a sleep questionnaire. PSG data showed a normal sleep architecture in 3 cases, an insomnia pattern in 2, a reduction of slow wave sleep in 3 and a reduction of REM sleep in 2. Respiratory analysis revealed that 2 of 10 patients had obstructive sleep apnea. These 2 patients presented habitual snoring and associated sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and hypnic jerks. Sleep apnea may be a subtle and often undiagnosed symptom in several migraine patients. The report of habitual snoring associated with other sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and other parasomnias may be a sign of sleep apnea in migraine children.