Adults are not the only people who undergo sleep studies.
Sleep studies in children are becoming more common due to several factors. One is an increase in childhood obesity, which is in turn linked to obstructive sleep apnea.
Another factor is that parents now know they can help a child who experiences parasomnias such as night terrors, sleep walking and sleep talking. Children are particularly vulnerable to parasomnias since their brains are not yet fully developed.
A third reason for a pediatric sleep study is to determine the cause of seizures during sleep, and whether thy may be controlled through medication.
The first step is a referral by the child’s pediatrician for a study to identify or rule out a particular condition.
Often the child will also see a pediatric pulmonologist prior to the study as well.
On the evening of the study, the child and a parent come to the sleep center, and the child is made ready for the study. Just like adults, the technicians apply electrodes to the child’s scalp to collect the data that will be analyzed afterward by a physician boarded in sleep medicine.
The study also monitors the child’s heart rate and measures oxygen and CO2 levels.
If the sleep patient is a baby, the parent will sleep in the same room. For older kids, the parent may sleep in another room close by.
Lack of sufficient sleep in children can have a wide range of side effects. Sometimes, children who are sleep deprived are hyperactive in school. They may even be placed on medication to counter the hyperacivity, when all they really need is better sleep hygiene.
Sometimes a child with sleep apnea may improve greatly after having enlarged tonsils or adenoids removed.
Bacharach has two sleep centers treating both adults and children, 54 W. Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway, and 600 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton.
To learn more about sleep studies in children visit bacharach.org or call the Bacharach Sleep Center 609-748-5404