Sleep: An underemphasized aspect of health and development in neurorehabilitation

Olaf Verschuren*, Jan Willem Gorter, Lesley Pritchard-Wiart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sleep deficiency has unique causes and implications for children with neonatal brain injury; contributing to the development or exacerbation of neurodevelopmental impairments and yet it is an underemphasized aspect of health and development. There is very little research evidence to guide the management of sleep disorders in children with cerebral palsy, a common neurodevelopmental disability of childhood. This paper is a comprehensive review and analysis of the literature regarding what is known about sleep quantity and quality in children with cerebral palsy. The specific implications for children with cerebral palsy are explored including the adverse effects of sleep deficiency on general child development, physical health and growth, and mental functioning. The consequences for the family are also discussed. Finally, the assessment and management of sleep problems are summarized to provide guidance to clinicians who work in neurodevelopmental medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Human Development
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Development
  • Health
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Parents
  • Sleep


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