- Sleep in adequate amount and quality is essential for normal child development. Sleep disorders may affect the childs daytime functions resulting in behavioral problems such as attention deficit, aggressiveness and hyperactivity. Recent reports have suggested that chronic sleep disturbance can cause neurocognitive deficits and impaired learning abilities. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, asthma, atopic dermatitis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis--are common childhood diseases that can impair normal sleep. This article reviews the sleep characteristics in these diseases and the relation between sleep quality and the social and intellectual performance of the child during the day.