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Children / Adolescent

At The Sleep Center of Nevada, we believe in the importance of patient education. Our goal is to raise awareness about sleep, sleep disorders and issues impacting sleep to help you improve and enhance your health and quality of life.

Children and Sleep Disorders/Teens and Sleep

Teens and Sleep – Teenagers love to stay up late and hate to get up in the morning. So when is it a serious problem that should be addressed? When it interferes with their quality of life. When it interferes with their school.

Look for the following signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder or a sleep problem in your teens:

If your Teen demonstrates two or more of these signs, try to first get them on a regular sleeping pattern. If that doesn’t seem to work, talk to their physician about their sleep or call our Sleep Center for a consultation.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children/adolescents

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can occur in children.  In children, OSA can be associated enlarged tonsils and adenoids.  The palatine tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue (infection-fighting) that sit in the back of the throat; when enlarged, the tonsils can occlude the airway, contributing to obstructive events during OSA.  The adenoid tissue is another collection of lymphoid tissue sits in the back of the nose; the adenoid tissue can also occlude the airway when enlarged.  One of the treatments for OSA in children and adolescents is tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.  If your child is diagnosed with OSA, he or she may be referred to an otolaryngologist for consideration of this procedure.  Other treatments for OSA in children include oral appliances such as a rapid maxillary expander and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.  

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children/adolescents

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can occur in children.  In children, OSA can be associated enlarged tonsils and adenoids.  The palatine tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue (infection-fighting) that sit in the back of the throat; when enlarged, the tonsils can occlude the airway, contributing to obstructive events during OSA.  The adenoid tissue is another collection of lymphoid tissue sits in the back of the nose; the adenoid tissue can also occlude the airway when enlarged.  One of the treatments for OSA in children and adolescents is tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.  If your child is diagnosed with OSA, he or she may be referred to an otolaryngologist for consideration of this procedure.  Other treatments for OSA in children include oral appliances such as a rapid maxillary expander and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.  

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) in children.

There are many ways in which children may describe restless legs, but restless legs is typically characterized by an urge to move the legs at night that interferes with falling asleep.  Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) describes a condition in which a person moves or kicks his or her legs so much that it disrupts sleep.  RLS and PLMD can occur together. As in adults, RLS can be associated with low iron stores.  There are also prescription medications that can help with restless legs.  Reduction in caffeine consumption may also alleviate symptoms of RLS.

Insomnia in children

While the advent of tablets and smart phones has been a blessing to society in some ways, screen time can interfere with sleep.  What is thought to be insomnia in children may be attributed to poor sleep hygiene.  It is important to avoid screen time for at least 1 hour before bedtime.  A relaxing bedtime activity is also crucial in establishing good bedtime habits.  Such activities for children may include a bedtime story, relaxing music, massage, blowing bubbles, or coloring. 
Insomnia in children can also be associated with mood disorders, such as depression and/or anxiety.  Addressing mental health issues can be helpful in the treatment of insomnia.  Ensuring adequate opportunity to sleep is also important.  

Syndromes of excessive daytime sleepiness, such as narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia.

Some children and adolescents may still be sleepy despite the absence of other sleep disorders.  Narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia  (IH) are two such conditions characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.  Narcolepsy can occur with or without cataplexy.  Cataplexy is a loss of muscle tone associated with a strong emotional reaction, such as anger, happiness, or sadness.  Other symptoms of narcolepsy include hallucinations and sleep paralysis.  In order to diagnose narcolepsy or IH, an overnight sleep study is performed to exclude sleep apnea and ensure adequate sleep.  This is then followed by a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), which consists of multiple nap opportunities.  During the MSLT, the sleep technician sees how fast the patient is able to fall asleep.