What are the Symptoms of Pediatric Sleep Disorders?

little girl unable to sleepPediatric sleep disorders are quite common, and they can affect not only your child’s sleep, but also the entire family. Your child may also suffer daytime issues related to a sleep disorder.

In this blog, sleep medicine specialist Dr. Samit Malhotra of Sleep & Neuroscience Associates outlines the symptoms of pediatric sleep disorders to help you recognize the possible signs.

What are the common pediatric sleep disorders?

  • Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea – characterized by repeated pauses of breathing during sleep
  • Insomnia – difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sleepwalking – is most often seen between the ages of 4 and 8
  • Night terrors – occurs when children suddenly arouse from sleep and may scream and cry. They’re most common in children under age 6.
  • Sleep talking – typically occurring multiple times a night
  • Confusional arousals – confusion upon waking, which can be combined with clouded thinking, slow speech, or poor memory
  • Restless legs syndrome – a creeping, crawling sensation in the legs combined with an urge to move your legs

What are the symptoms?

Pediatric sleep disorders can lead to the following:

  • Behavior problems
  • Accidents and injuries
  • Difficulty concentrating, learning, and remembering
  • Hyperactivity
  • Behavior problems
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Bedwetting
  • Sleeping too much or too little

What are the causes?

The following may increase the chances that your child will have a sleep disorder:

  • A family history of sleep disorders
  • Chronic nasal congestion, or large tonsils or adenoids (for sleep apnea)
  • Lack of a regular bedtime routine (for insomnia)
  • Stress at school or home, such as problems with friends or a move
  • Medications that can cause side effects related to pediatric sleep disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What are the treatment options?

Treatment options depend on the particular type of sleep disorder as well as each child’s individual needs. They can include:

  • Surgical options – Tonsillectomy and/or Adnoidectomy
  • Dental procedures – Wisdom teeth extraction, Rapid maxillary expansion
  • Allergy evaluation – Treatment of seasonal allergies to improve nasal breathing
  • Use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine or an alternative – for treating snoring and sleep apnea is not the primary modality of treatment for sleep related breathing abnormality in children
  • Lifestyle modification – may involve losing weight, getting regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes
  • Behavior therapy – therapy to help change behaviors that could be contributing to a sleep disorder
  • Medical management – using medication or other therapies

If you suspect that your child may have a sleep disorder, make an appointment today with Sleep & Neuroscience Associates. We’ll confirm or rule out the presence of a sleep disorder and help your child get effective treatment to help the entire family sleep well.

Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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