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This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources about sleep in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women. This knowledge path can be used by health professionals, researchers, educators, community advocates, and families to learn more about sleep, to improve diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, for program development, and to locate training resources and information to answer specific questions. Separate briefs present resources for families and schools. This knowledge path has been developed by the six national Pediatric Pulmonary Training Programs and the MCH Library at Georgetown University, all of whom are funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). It will be updated periodically.


Sleep is an important component of daily life for people of all ages, with children spending an average of 30 percent to 50 percent of their day sleeping. Sleep is especially important for infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women, and new mothers. Good sleep is essential to a well-functioning family. Poor sleep and/or sleep disorders in children can have an impact on the child and the entire family. Infants, children, and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sleep disorders and are at higher risk than adults for getting insufficient sleep. Sleep problems are increasingly being recognized as a public health issue with ties to obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and poor school performance. Underserved populations are at higher risk for sleep problems. Health professionals, families, and communities need to be knowledgeable about how to improve sleep and be able to recognize sleep disorders.

General Resources for Professionals


Additional Electronic Publications

Data and Statistics Literature and Research Databases Programs Databases

News and Commentary

Resources for Families

Resources for Schools

Resources on Specific Aspects of Sleep

Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Stress

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bruxism, Parasomnias, and Rhythmic Movement Disorder






Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Practices

Related MCH Library Resources

Sleep in Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women: Knowledge Path. (October 2011). (Updated: August 2014).

Authors: Susan Chauncey Horky, L.C.S.W., M.S.W., University of Florida; Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library; Mary H. Wagner, M.D., University of Florida.
Contributors: Kristen Hedger Archbold, R.N., Ph.D., University of Arizona; Candace Dreier, R.R.T., University of Wisconsin; Carla Salldin, Parent Consultant, University of Washington; Sarah Walker, M.S., M.P.H., R.D., University of New Mexico.
Reviewers: Jeanne Anastasi, M.A., National Sudden and Unexpected Infant/Child Death and Pregnancy Loss Resource Center; Olivia Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.