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Sleep Disorder in Children

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Many parents who suspect that their child is suffering from a sleep disorder, may search the internet using the term "sleep disorder in child". They are looking for signs and symptoms of sleep disorder. We are all familiar with sleep disorders in adults, but did you know that there is a such a thing as a sleep disorder in a child? It's true, sleep disorders are not just germaine to adults, they affect children, as well.

It is shocking to think that sleep disordered breathing can affect the very young. And to top it off, many parents and teachers alike, have little skill or training when it comes to recognizing the signs and symptoms of sleep disorder in children.

So, what should a teacher or parent look for in a child that they suspect may have a sleep disorder? Some of the symptoms may include: loud snoring, pauses in breathing while asleep, problems trying to stay awake during the daytime, and puzzling decreased daytime concentration and performance.

It is very difficult for the child to concentrate and their abilities suffer. What may seem to be laziness, is in fact, the result of sleep deprivation.

A child may become angry and agitated and totally out for character. The usually placid and pleasant child is now an easily angered and agitated being. This personality change can be dramatic for some children.

Mood swings and depression can also be signs that a child is having problems and may involve a sleep disorder. It may just be sleep-related.

What is the next step? Contacting a pediatrician is paramount. The doctor may order a test called a Sleep Study to determine if the child does, in fact, have a sleep disorder. This takes place in a Sleep Lab, which is specifically set-up for studying sleep patterns.

After the results are obtained, the doctor may order a device called a CPAP. This device applies continuous positive pressure to the child's airway to keep it open. Using a mask attached by a tube to the machine, positive pressure is produced by the CPAP.

CPAP's have been very useful in treating Sleep Disorders in children and have given many back their lives. It is truly a wonderful device.

Sleep disorders in children, while not very common, do exist. And it is vital that parents and teachers alike are trained to look for the signs and symptoms of sleep disorder in children.

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