This study investigated sleep and sleep spindle parameters in children with primary generalized spike-and-wave discharges (untreated primary generalized group, nine patients; treated primary generalized group, six patients) and compared these with an age- and sex-matched nonepileptic control group (n = 47). In the untreated primary generalized group, stage 2 onset was significantly shorter, with less spindles in stage 2. In the last stage 2 period of the night, significantly less fast frequency spindles were observed, indicating abnormal dynamics of sleep architecture. In the treated group, sleep patterns were comparable to that of the control group. The data indicate sleep architecture dysfunctions in children with generalized spike-and-wave discharges. These dysfunctions could account for the frequently encountered sleep problems in children with primary generalized epilepsy. (c) 2007 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.