Sleeping Disorders and Your Child’s Health

Adult Sleep Treatment Differs in Children

As adults we have experienced some form of sleep disturbance at one point in our lifetime. We know that most of the blame ranges from fatigue, irritability and poor sleeping habits. However, our children and teens may be at an even greater risk for their health, as they may be experiencing a number of different issues. This is where it pays off to meet with the top sleep disorder and treatment center New York residents trust. A sleep doctor can properly diagnose and define the best treatment without causing interruption to your daily schedule and get your child back on their normal sleep cycle.

What is Normal Sleep?

Although it is not known by many, lack of good sleep can lead to apathy, slowed speech, impaired memory and inability to multitask, according to the American Psychological Association. Sleep is crucial for our physical, mental and emotional health there is no doubting that, but what defines normal sleep? Most parents know that rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) are the two types of sleep. During sleep studies we have found that REM sleep includes irregular breathing and heart rates and rapid eye movement of twitching is present. Nerve impulses also stop traveling in the spinal cord, so the body is essentially paralyzed. However, in NREM sleep, the person rests in a normal state, which is less intensive and they arise feeling more relaxed and still able to move in their sleep.

Causes of Sleep Disorders in Children

Many factors contribute to a child’s sleep issues. Obstructive sleep apnea is more likely in children who experience problems, such as large tonsils and adenoids, history of prematurity, asthma, muscle weakness and obesity. Other sleep issues are related to sleep habits but may also be related to medical and mental problems. Children with any significant sleeping troubles should undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine which sleep disorder they may be struggling with.

Top Five Common Sleep Disorders in Children

  • Sleep Apnea – Briefly stops breathing and awaken to gasp for air.
  • Narcolepsy – Uncontrollable urge to sleep at irregular hours and inappropriate places.
  • Nightmares – Child awakens terrified from a dream and may fight urges to sleep.
  • Sleep Talking – Typically lasts 30 seconds or less, each occurrence.
  • Sleepwalking – Boys more affected than girls, and tend to occur within the second or third hour of nighttime sleep.

Treating Your Child’s Sleep Problems with New York’s Sleep Disorder Specialist

Obtaining enough sleep is an important function every child and teen requires. Sleep disturbances may greatly disrupt a child’s personality, learning abilities, emotions and daily activities. If you suspect that your child has a sleeping disorder, it is possible they can outgrow it, but significant complications and lack of treatment may prevent them from going away on their own.

If you want to learn more about your child’s sleep disruptions and how it affects their health contact our New York sleep disorder treatment center online or call us directly to schedule an appointment at (212) 661-7077.

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