Clinical Services

Sleep Disorders/Apnea Program

Twenty-five percent of children between the age of 1 and 5 years experience some type of sleep disturbance. Childhood sleep disturbances tend to persist if left untreated. Sleep problems may be associated with different temperaments. Instead of appearing sleepy, an overtired child may be overactive and inattentive. As a result, such children are sometimes erroneously labeled as hyperactive and treated as such.

Poor sleep may cause a child to be more vulnerable to physical illness, may limit parent-child bonding and later interaction, and may affect a child’s self-esteem. Children with sleeping-waking disorders during the first year of life often experience multiple sleep problems and learning deficits in later years. One in 10 children has a form of increased upper airway resistance that presents by snoring and apneic events. Such problems, if left untreated, can cause severe long-term problems and should, therefore, be evaluated for potential intervention.

The first step in addressing these problems is to obtain a correct diagnosis, which can be done through UM’s sophisticated Pediatric Sleep Lab. In this quiet environment many of the child’s functions, including breathing, heartbeat, brain waves, and blood oxygen levels, are monitored with sensors applied to the skin while they sleep. The child’s pattern of sleep and arousal provides valuable information on the underlying cause of the sleep disorder, namely whether the breathing problem emanates from the airways or brain or is related to sleep abnormalities. Included in the latter group are parasomnia (night terrors, sleep walking, sleep talking, bruxism, sleep paralysis), narcolepsy, delayed sleep phase syndrome or movement disorders during sleep. A sleep study tells the doctor the source of the problem, and how to address it.

Contact us

For additional information or to make an appointment, please call 305-243-6641.