Children need restful sleep just as much – or even more – than adults. For some kids, though, sleep disorders rob them of sound sleep, and leave them feeling tired, irritable and distracted during the day. In fact, sleep disorders may be misdiagnosed as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep disorders also may be a sign of physical problems, such as a blocked airway, or emotional concerns like anxiety or stress.
If your child shows signs of sleep problems, contact your Mercy Kids pediatrician. Our first step to treating sleep disorders is a physical exam to rule out any medical issues. Large tonsils, for example, may contribute to sleep apnea or snoring. We’ll also discuss your child’s daily routines and environment, including any changes or stressful events that may affect sleep.
Sometimes, making a few simple changes can improve sleep quality. We can help you and your child take steps to sleep better, such as:
If sleep problems persist, your Mercy Kids doctor may recommend consulting a pediatric sleep medicine specialist. The specialist may recommend an overnight sleep study (polysomnogram). Your child will spend the night in the hospital or sleep center while wearing painless monitors to evaluate their breathing, heart rate, eye and body movements, brain activity and other indicators of sleep quality throughout the night. This helps us understand their sleep issues and how best to treat them.
We know a child’s sleep disorder can affect the whole family, and we’ll help you all get a better night’s sleep.