Pediatric Sleep Disorders
Sleep problems are common in children and often related to poor sleep habits or anxiety about falling asleep and staying asleep. Maintaining a consistent bedtime and sleep routine can help. If a child does not willingly go to bed or is waking up frequently during the night, there may be a more serious sleep problem.
An evaluation by a sleep physician can help determine whether the child has a sleep disorder or a behavioral-related problem. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a common sleep disorder that is frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed as ADHD in children. If your child is snoring, it is important to make sure that it is not related to sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea in children is most often associated with enlarged tonsils or adenoids and can be successfully treated with surgical intervention. Other common sleep disorders in children are Parasomnias (sleep terrors, nightmares, sleep talking, sleep walking, confusional arousals and bed-wetting). Narcolepsy is a rare neurological disorder that generally has childhood onset and can affect performance and behavior in school.
Pediatric sleep disorders should be managed by a physician specializing in sleep disorders after diagnosis. The BayCare sleep centers evaluate sleep disorders in children from neonate to teens. In addition to overnight sleep testing, the sleep center’s affiliated pulmonary, neurology or ENT board sleep specialists can consult with pediatric patients and their parents prior to their sleep study.