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The Sleep Center at Cincinnati Children’s is the largest multidisciplinary sleep center in the Tristate area. We evaluate and treat children with various sleep disorders including sleep-disordered breathing (obstructive sleep apnea, apnea of infancy), parasomnias (sleep terrors, sleep walking, nightmares), circadian rhythm disorders (delayed sleep phase syndrome), movement disorders (restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorders), narcolepsy and behavior sleep problems. We help in the management of sleep disordered breathing in children with complex medical conditions such as neuromuscular disease, craniofacial syndrome, chronic lung diseases and respiratory control disorders.
Researchers have shown that 8 percent to 10 percent of children snore every night. Approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of children have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when a child stops breathing during sleep. The child may struggle to breath, and may have snorting and gasping sounds during sleep. Several factors contribute to OSA in children, but the most common cause is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Overweight children are also at risk for OSA. If left untreated, OSA can lead to many long-term consequences including cardiovascular complications, and neurocognitive complications such as poor school performance, behavior problem and hyperactivity. OSA can be diagnosed by an overnight sleep study. Treatment of OSA in children may involve surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids, the use of a mechanical device such as CPAP and medications. If you suspect that your child may have OSA, you should talk to your pediatrician. Your child may need to be referred to the sleep center for further evaluation.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that is described by an urge to move the legs or leg discomfort that often occurs at night or during rest. Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is the presence of repetitive leg movements during sleep. RLS and PLMD are closely related and often coexist. Recent studies suggest that RLS and PLMD are common in children. It is likely that if left untreated, RLS and PLMD may lead to long-term adverse consequences. Children may use various terms to describe their leg discomfort such as “oowies,” “tickle,” “spiders,” “want to run” and “a lot of energy in my legs.” Some children may have difficulty falling asleep, daytime sleepiness or hyperactivity similar to ADHD. The diagnosis of RLS and PLMD requires evaluation in sleep clinics and overnight sleep study. Children with RLS and PLMD would benefit from medications and good sleep hygiene.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that is characterized by an excessive daytime sleepiness and a tendency to fall asleep at inappropriate times. It is a life-long condition and its impact on children’s life can be serious and if not recognized, disabling. Children with narcolepsy often have irresistible episodes of sleep or sleep attack during the day. Some children may have an abrupt loss of muscle tone ranging from weakness in the knee and jaw drop to complete physical collapse, usually triggered by emotions (cataplexy). Other typical symptoms of narcolepsy include an inability to move while going to sleep or waking up (sleep paralysis), and vivid dreamlike experiences that can be frightening and usually occur at sleep onset (hypnagogic hallucination). The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but it may involve the area of the central nervous system that controls sleep and wakefulness. The diagnosis of narcolepsy requires an overnight sleep study and nap tests. Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, several medications can help to reduce its symptoms. Children with narcolepsy can lead productive lives if they are provided with proper medical care. Parents and teachers should be aware of the symptoms of narcolepsy. This will help them not to make the mistake of confusing the person’s behavior with laziness, hostility, rejection or lack of interest or motivation.
We evaluate and treat children with various sleep disorders.
Download the Sleep Study Prep Book (.pdf) to learn what to expect during your sleep study.
3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3026 | 1-513-636-4200 | 1-800-344-2462 | TTY:1-513-636-4900
New to Cincinnati Children’s or live outside of the Tristate area? 1-877-881-8479
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