OBJECTIVE: to update the knowledge about anorexia and insomnia in childhood. SOURCES OF DATA: search of Medline database, including articles from1997 to 2002. The key words anorexia, feeding disorders, insomnia, sleep disorders and childhood were used. Some textbooks were also included. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: definition, main types and causes, diagnosis and treatment of anorexia and insomnia are presented. CONCLUSIONS: anorexia and insomnia are prevalent in childhood. The former is a much more frequent complaint in pediatric visits. The diagnosis is almost always based solely on a good history. Both conditions are generally behavioral and reflect the family dynamics. They are preventable and treated at the primary care level, based upon simple strategies, although sometimes not easily accepted by the patients.
childhood; anorexia; feeding disorders; insomnia; sleep disorders