The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders

 

 


Toddlers who won't sleep through the night. Children who sleep fitfully or who repeatedly climb in their parent's bed. Teens who stay up half the night and sleep half the day. Are these scenarios happening in your home? If so, are your children going through normal phases, or is there a bigger issue at hand?

The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders was created to provide consultation and therapeutic management for the wide variety of sleep disorders that can affect children.  A comprehensive approach to sleep medicine is maintained with a focus on the behavioral, developmental, neurological, and pulmonary issues that result in pediatric sleep disorders. 

Diagnosing the Problem

Common symptoms of sleep disorders include the following:

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Tendency to fall asleep during the day
  • Sleep-related injuries (such as those that result from dozing off while driving).
  • Other obvious signs include crankiness or being short-fused.
  • A tired child might have trouble focusing or paying attention at school, which can lead to lower grades.

Avoiding Long-term Issues

While extreme sleepiness can affect many aspects of day-to-day life, chronic sleep problems can contribute to long-term health issues. Studies show that sleep deprivation can go hand-in-hand with diabetes risk, blood pressure problems and weight issues.

Common Sleep Disorders

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these are the five most common sleep disorders for children:

  • Narcolepsy - A child with narcolepsy has a strong, uncontrollable urge to sleep. She may fall asleep for a few minutes or an hour at a time, often in inappropriate places. She awakens refreshed, but becomes sleepy again as the cycle repeats itself. 
  • Sleep apnea - A child with sleep apnea briefly stops breathing many times during the night because of an obstruction in the respiratory tract. She awakens for a few minutes as she instinctively gasps for air.
  • Nightmares - Nightmares are especially common in middle childhood. The child typically awakens because of a scary dream. She might become anxious, breathe heavily and begin crying.
  • Sleep talking - During sleep, the child begins speaking (often in a monotone and unintelligibly). Episodes usually last 30 seconds or less.
  • Sleep walking - About 15 percent of children ages 5 to 12 have at least one sleep-walking episode. Boys tend to be more affected than girls, and episodes usually occur during the second or third hour of nighttime sleep. 

This center is the first of its kind in South Carolina managed by an American board-certified pediatric sleep medicine specialist.   A physician referral is required. 

To learn more about The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders or to schedule an appointment, please call(864) 454-5660.