Pediatric Sleep Disorder Treatment in Greenwich, CT
At Sleep & Neuroscience Associates, the leading sleep center in Greenwich, CT, we diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders, including sleep disorders in children. Dr. Samit Malhotra is our qualified, trusted sleep doctor, with fellowship training from the prestigious Stanford University sleep medicine program and board certifications in both sleep medicine and neurology. Learn more about our pediatric sleep disorder treatments below, or schedule an appointment to sleep better and live better today.
What are pediatric sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders in children can occur at any age. The most common pediatric sleep disorders are:
Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders found in adults and children, involving abnormal behaviors during sleep. In children, these abnormal sleep behaviors may include:
- Night terrors – Children suffering from night terrors usually awaken from sleep in extreme panic and fear. A child may wake up screaming and may be very difficult to console.
- Sleepwalking – Sleepwalking in children occurs during the early sleep stages. Sleepwalking can include any action a child performs while sleeping (often standing up and walking around), of which he or she has no recollection.
- Sleep talking – Sleep talking in children, also known as somniloquy, can range from quiet mumbles to loud, repetitive shouts during sleep. It is typically a repeated act, occurring multiple times throughout the night.
- Confusional arousals – Confusional arousals cause a child to act confused when waking up. A child with confusional arousal sleep disorder may suffer from slow speech, poor memory, and clouded thinking during an episode.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea in children occurs when a child’s airway becomes blocked (obstructed) during sleep, causing a disruption in normal breathing. The obstruction may wake the child from sleep, causing him or her to make a loud snort or gasp to clear the airway and restart the breathing process. OSA in children is often related to enlarged adenoids or tonsils.
Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) in children is a neurological disorder that results in a ticking or twitching feeling in the legs when a child is lying or sitting down. Children who suffer from RLS may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, causing exhaustion and fatigue during daytime hours.
What are the symptoms of pediatric sleep disorders?
A child suffering from a sleep disorder may show some of the following warning signs:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Behavioral problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor performance in school
- Sleeping more or less time than is appropriate and expected for the age of the child:
- 4 months-1 year: 14-15 hours of sleep
- 1-3 years: 12-14 hours of sleep
- 4-6 years: 11-12 hours of sleep
- 7-12 years: 9-12 hours of sleep
- 13-18 years: 7-10 hours of sleep
What are the risk factors for pediatric sleep disorders?
The following factors may increase a child’s risk of having or developing a sleep disorder:
- Family history of sleep disorders
- Taking medications with side effects related to sleep disorders
- Stress at school or home
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
There are a number of other health conditions and disorders that may be linked to pediatric sleep disorders. You should check with a sleep specialist to determine whether your child’s health history may place him or her at risk of developing a sleep disorder.
How are pediatric sleep disorders diagnosed?
If your child is showing signs or symptoms of a sleep disorder, it is important to schedule an appointment with a pediatric sleep specialist, such as Dr. Malhotra, who can evaluate and diagnose your child’s condition.
Sleep disorders in children can result in developmental and learning problems, along with having a negative impact on overall health. Children with a sleep disorder are often times misdiagnosed with ADHD and incorrectly treated with stimulant medications.
Consulting with a specialist is the first step to beginning a treatment plan to remedy the condition. A pediatric sleep specialist will make a diagnosis after considering a child’s medical history, current symptoms, parent concerns, and other factors. Further tests, such as a sleep study, may be recommended to make an accurate diagnosis.
How are pediatric sleep disorders treated?
There are a number of pediatric sleep disorder treatment options, such as:
- Lifestyle modifications, which may consist of losing weight, exercising regularly, and other changes based on an individual’s needs.
- Behavior therapy, also known as behavior modification, which is a treatment designed to help change some of a child’s day-to-day behaviors that may be contributing to a sleep disorder. This may also include seeing a behavioral sleep psychologist.
- Medical management, which may consist of prescribing medications or non-pharmaceutical therapies for the treatment of pediatric sleep disorders, such as parasomnias.
- CPAP & CPAP alternatives, which may be recommended for children with OSA.
If you believe your child may be suffering from a pediatric sleep disorder, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat the condition. Dr. Malhotra is a trusted sleep specialist in CT, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders in children. Call (203) 422-7940 today, or schedule an appointment using this form.