losing sleep over your childs sleep

Losing Sleep Over Your Child's Sleep?

Sleep disturbance issues in children and toddlers are common. However, when children do not get the right amount of high-quality sleep for their age, it can lead to serious health and behavioral issues.

Lee J. Brooks, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist, explains: “While snoring is not unusual, it is also not normal. Snoring could indicate a respiratory problem such as obstructive sleep apnea which can lead to learning problems and, over time, strain the heart or lungs. Often, large tonsils and adenoids are to blame. Removal corrects the problem in children with mild to moderate sleep apnea, but other treatments may be necessary for more severe patients.”

Other sleep problems involve behavioral issues

“Some children become habituated to certain bedtime rituals in order to fall asleep and stay asleep,” says Alex Mason, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia pediatric neurologist and sleep specialist.

For example, some parents stay in a child’s bedroom until the child drifts off. The moment the parent leaves, the child awakens and begins to wail. “A plan of behavior modification for both the parent and child can correct the problem,” says Dr. Mason. But in order to treat the problem, we first must make a correct diagnosis.”

Sleep studies diagnose sleep problems

This often involves a sleep study. At the Pediatric Sleep Lab in the Virtua Voorhees Health and Wellness Center, a child and parent stay overnight in a comfortable room.

Throughout the night, the child’s sleep patterns and vital signs are monitored to properly diagnose and treat the sleep disturbance problem. This is a very important study for children with suspected sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or nocturnal seizures, for example, but is often not necessary if the problem is behavioral. The sleep specialists can help determine what testing, if any, is necessary for your child and what treatment methods should be used.

Chop at Virtua sleep labs

The sleep labs have home-like amenities such a television, DVD, private bath and shower. To arrange for a consultation or appointment for your child, call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).

CHOP at Virtua sleep specialists treat:

  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infant apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Parasomnias
  • Sleep walking
  • Sleep terrors
  • Nocturnal seizures

Updated December 29, 2017

You May Also like

pediatric sleep lab

Pediatric Sleep Lab

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at Virtua sleep lab specialists can diagnose your child's problem and develop a treatment plan so that the whole family can sleep better.

Read More
where should your child sleep

Where Should Your Child Sleep?

Co-sleeping parents ready to move children into their own beds often face quite the showdown.

Read More
CHOP at Virtua - South Jersey Children's Health

CHOP at Virtua

Through a partnership with CHOP, Virtua provides children in South Jersey with the most advanced pediatric care and a network of expert physicians.

Read More