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Pediatric sleep center

Parents have a new resource when it comes to ensuring their children get a good night’s sleep.
Baptist Health Louisville’s Sleep Center has added a pediatric component to meet the growing need for sleep studies for children ages 5 and up. According to the National Sleep Foundation, anywhere from 2 percent to 11 percent of children in this demographic could suffer from a sleep disorder.

Unlike adults, children don’t always know how to communicate that they are not getting enough sleep. And often the symptoms can be counter-intuitive.

Children may act more hyperactive when sleep deprived. This can lead to poor school performance, difficulty paying attention and other behavioral problems. In more serious situations, pediatric sleep disorders can lead to types of hypertension or even congestive heart failure.

To diagnose a sleeping disorder, the Sleep Center performs a variety of tests while children stay overnight with a parent or guardian. Rooms are furnished with kid-friendly touches such as stuffed animals and TV/DVDs for watching a favorite movie. Throughout the night, everything from sleep position to eye movement and breathing patterns are closely observed to determine an accurate diagnosis.

Sometimes, a lack of sleep can be attributed to poor sleep hygiene. Poor sleep hygiene may include an irregular bedtime schedule or routine. In other circumstances poor sleep can be the result of an obstructive apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder found in children. Symptoms include snoring, excessive sweating, bed wetting and difficulty getting out of bed. Typically, sleep apnea is treatable by surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids.

Surgery is curative in a large percentage of cases.

Other treatments include prescribing allergy medicine and, in rarer cases, use of a CPAP mask more commonly used to treat apnea in adults.

If a sleeping disorder is suspected, a parent or guardian may self refer their child to the Sleep Center for an initial consult with a physician, registered sleep technician and nurse practitioner to discuss next steps.

For more information, call the Baptist Health Louisville Sleep Center at (502) 896-7612.