Why sleep is important for children?
As a parent, you may find the subject of your child’s sleep to be puzzling. Thoughts of “How much sleep” or appropriate sleep times. Studies show us that as early as six months of age, a child can learn to sleep over 8 hours a night. Sleep is an important factor to a child’s overall health with important body functions and brain activity occurring during sleep. Sleep helps provide energy for the body and fuel for the brain. Helping your child implement positive sleep habits in childhood can lead to a healthy adult. Nearly 25% of all children will experience some type of sleep disturbance during infancy, childhood, or adolescence. Surprisingly, sleep concerns are among the top 5 reported issues to Pediatricians by parents. The effects of sleep disorders can vary from minor to life-threatening. Recent evidence suggests that sleep disturbances can lead to significant medical issues such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Lack of good sleep can also contribute to poor school performance, mood changes, and behavior disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adequate sleep is not only important for growth and development, but also for general medical well being.
Some symptoms of sleep disturbances:
- rapid or continued weight gain
- frequent urination at night
- bed wetting
- restless sleep, frequent movements
- difficulty falling asleep
- difficulty arousing child
- daytime sleepiness
- irritability or changes in personality
- problems with school performance
- chronic mouth breathing
What can be done?
- Your child may require a sleep study, also called a polysomnography test. This is an outpatient, painless test that does not interfere with normal school activities or attendance.
- A polysomnogram is designed to monitor and evaluate the child’s sleep patterns, characteristics and physical state of sleep and can be performed for children ages 2-18. This type of sleep study is a commonly used and widely accepted modality; therefore, most insurance plans will authorize this test.
- After the sleep study is done, our specialist will collaborate closely with your child’s pediatrician to support the child’s return to the good health that comes with an adequate night’s sleep.
- Additionally, our pediatric sleep lab offers a CPAP clinic if it is determined this is an appropriate treatment for your child’s sleep disorder.
The clinical will provide one – one training and education for you and your child with a certified sleep technician which includes:
- An introduction to CPAP therapy
- Mask selection and desensitization
- CPAP trial and problem solving.