Sleep is very important for the health of children, but what if they're struggling to rest through the night? Conditions ranging from sleep apnea to night terrors raise a lot of questions, and East Tennessee Children's Hospital is working to find answers as the only pediatric sleep center in the region designed just for children.
Children's Hospital sleep specialist Dr. Matthew Lundien, board certified in Sleep Medicine and Pediatric Pulmonology, explains. "Sleep medicine is a relatively new field for children and it's rapidly changing, but Children's Hospital has the best resources to help children get a good night's sleep. A child's medical and emotional needs are unique, and this is especially true when dealing with sleep issues. Sleep studies involve lots of tape and wire, but no needles. So, we can comfort children and parents that there is nothing to fear. Our entire staff – from the physicians and nurses to all technicians – are experts in caring for children."
What's commonly called a sleep study has a big medical name: a polysomnogram. This painless process involves an overnight stay and can help determine whether lifestyle, a health complication or a clinical disorder is responsible for lack of sleep. During the study, favorite items from home and a parent close by comfort the child.
Here are some of the many signs that might tell parents a child could benefit from a sleep study:
• Snoring or labored breathing during sleep
• Pauses in breathing during sleep
• Restless sleep
• Frequent awakenings during the night
• Difficulty waking up in the morning
• Daytime emotional and behavioral problems
• Excessive sleepiness during the daytime
• Change in school performance
Sleep disorders can be found in approximately one out of every five children. While it might seem more bothersome to parents than problematic, a sleep disorder could be an underlying reason for a serious health issue such as hyperactivity, learning disability or even certain types of heart disease. No matter what the problem is with your child's sleep, the Children's Sleep Medicine Center can evaluate the situation and make treatment recommendations that are best for your child.
Your child's primary care physician or pediatrician can schedule a Sleep Study
directly with us or you can schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Lundien in our Pediatric Sleep Clinic. For more information call Children’s Sleep Medicine Center at 541-8478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org