Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your child’s performance socially, physically, mentally and academically. Pediatric sleep medicine can assess the underlying causes of sleep disorders and assist in improving your child’s sleeping patterns.
An adequate amount of sleep is crucial for supporting an infant’s brain development. Children who get better sleep at night are more likely to function well in terms of paying attention in class, setting goals and completing tasks on time. Pediatric sleep medicine can assist your infant to get better sleep at night, especially if they are prone to waking up frequently in the middle of the night.
American Hospital Dubai has a team of board-certified pediatric sleep medicine specialists and highly qualified support staff who can help withaddressing a range of sleep-specific disorders in your child through early diagnosis and medical intervention.
Children can endure different types of sleep disturbances; some of the common disorders are:
• Sleep apnea
• Sleepwalking: This condition is common in children, which involves getting up at night or walking in the state of sleep. Accidents during sleepwalking can cause injuries.
• Insomnia: This common type of sleep disorder makes it difficult for your child to fall asleep at night or cause them to wake up frequently at night.
• Nightmares: These disturbing dreams can cause negative feelings in children. Frequent nightmares can cause stress and feelings of fear and anxiety among infants.
• Sleep onset association disorder
• Nocturnal seizures
• Night terrors
• Confusional arousals
Sleep disorders can lead to learning difficulties among infants, along with affecting their attention, memory, and mental health conditions. Some common causes of sleep disorders among children can include:
• Pain or transient infections
• Primary medical conditions
• Child-parent behaviors
• Extra reliance on a caretaker for child’s upbringing
• Family and cultural expectations etc.
Here’s the list of signs and symptoms that can indicate a sleep disorder in your child:
• Breathing issues or choking while sleeping (sleep apnea)
• Difficulty in falling asleep
• Decreased daytime performance
• Sleepwalking and nightmares
• Restless sleep
• Teeth grinding
• Difficulty in waking up in the morning
• Weight gain, headache and irritated mood
Sometimes it is difficult for a parent to understand whether their child is experiencing a sleep disorder or is just restless due to changes in his/her sleep schedule. If your child complains of difficulty falling asleep, you are advised to visit a pediatric sleep medicinespecialist as early as possible.
During your first visit, the pediatric sleep medicine specialist may gather information pertaining to your child’s medical history and may ask about his/her sleeping patterns. For diagnosis, the pediatric sleep medicine specialist may use a sleep questionnaire or sleep diary. If needed, he/she mayconduct apolysomnography, overnight oximetry or a multiple sleep latency test. Different blood tests can also be conducted to measure insulin, blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe pediatric sleep medicine, keeping in mind the specific outcomes of the well-thought-out sleep management plan. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy can also be used to assist infants suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatric sleep-related disorders can be managed with behavioral or cognitive therapies. In these therapies the sleep specialist focuses on teaching parents the right way to include good sleep hygiene practices in their children, while taking into account their age and sleep requirements.
American Hospital Dubai has a state-of-the-art, child-friendly laboratory to conduct asleep study. Our highly competent sleep technologists and pediatric sleep medicine specialists are there to answer your questions as well as to ensure your child’s safety and comfort. If your child experiences trouble falling or staying asleep, complains of daytime drowsiness or shows unusual sleep-related behaviors, schedule an appointment with our pediatric sleep medicine specialist by filling out our secure online form right away.