Are you the parent of a child who tosses and turns throughout the night, complains of frequent morning headaches, or maybe even snores? If so, it might be time to talk to your doctor about scheduling a Pediatric Sleep Study for your child.
Approximately 7-13% of children between the ages of 2-8 years old suffer from sleep disordered breathing, and the most common of these disorders is obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is defined by the partial or complete collapse of the airway during sleep. Sleep disorders can affect children in many ways such as slower growth rates, poor school performance, behavioral problems, and even long term cardiovascular and neurological effects. Performing a sleep study to determine if a child suffers from a sleep disorder is essential to reduce or eliminate these consequences.
So how do you, as a parent, identify if your child should have a sleep study performed? Keep your eyes and ears open for some of the most common symptoms associated with a sleep disorder. The most common symptom is snoring and about 10% of children exhibit habitual snoring. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children who snore should be screened for sleep apnea. Some of the other symptoms of sleep disordered breathing are restless sleep, where your child tosses and turns throughout the night, frequent morning headaches, bedwetting, night sweats, irritability, and hyperactivity. In fact, some studies suggest an association between ADHD and sleep apnea because children with ADHD exhibit similar symptoms of irritability, poor school performance, and behavioral problems. Recent studies have reported sleep problems in 25-50% of children diagnosed with ADHD, so the overlap of symptoms found in sleep apnea and ADHD suggests that sleep apnea could potentially be an underlying cause of ADHD. Other risk factors that parents should be aware of is enlarged tonsils, premature birth, children with neuromuscular disorders, and the most common risk is childhood obesity.
Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Sleep Studies are performed by licensed sleep technicians, and interpreted by our Pediatric Medical Director of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Laura Sterni. We screen patients as young as 4 years of age. Our center is located on the main campus at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland. Our Sleep Center includes recliners in every room, and our pediatric sleep rooms include an additional bed for a parent or guardian to stay with their child. We have flat screen TVs, movies and books to make each child as comfortable as possible. Not being able to sleep in your own bed is difficult for just about all of us, so we have made every effort to provide a comfortable environment for all of our patients.
To learn more about the FMH Center for Advanced Sleep Studies, visit http://www.fmh.org/sleep. If you have concerns regarding your child’s sleep habits or their risk of a sleep disorder, you may want to speak with your physician or call the FMH Center for Advanced Sleep Studies at 240-566-3400.