This White Paper addresses the current gaps in knowledge, as well as opportunities for future studies in pediatric sleep. The Sleep Research Society’s Pipeline Development Committee assembled a panel of experts tasked to provide information to those interested in learning more about the field of pediatric sleep, including trainees. We cover the scope of pediatric sleep, including epidemiological studies and the development of sleep and circadian rhythms in early childhood and adolescence. Additionally, we discuss current knowledge of insufficient sleep and circadian disruption, addressing the neuropsychological impact (affective functioning) and cardiometabolic consequences. A significant portion of this White Paper explores pediatric sleep disorders (including circadian rhythm disorders, insomnia, restless leg and periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea), as well as sleep and neurodevelopment disorders (e.g. autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Finally, we end with a discussion on sleep and public health policy. Although we have made strides in our knowledge of pediatric sleep, it is imperative that we address the gaps to the best of our knowledge and the pitfalls of our methodologies. For example, more work needs to be done to assess pediatric sleep using objective methodologies (i.e. actigraphy and polysomnography), to explore sleep disparities, to improve accessibility to evidence-based treatments, and to identify potential risks and protective markers of disorders in children. Expanding trainee exposure to pediatric sleep and elucidating future directions for study will significantly improve the future of the field.
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