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Sleep Problems in Kids

A new study finds that sleep problems such as sleepwalking, being confused when aroused, and sleep terrors or nightmares are more common in children than adults. The sleep disorder problems, collectively termed parasomnias, are conditions that parents should take an active approach in helping their child overcome.

Parents are advised to consult with their child’s pediatrician for an through office evaluation, according to a study published in the February 1st issue of the journal SLEEP.

Study authors advise pediatricians to question the parents regarding what events typically occur, how soon after sleep onset these events are noted, and whether episodes take place during naps as well as at night.

Parents should, in turn, describe in detail the movements and behaviors that are typically seen. In addition, the authors noted, to complement the parents’ descriptions, home videos often prove very useful for identifying and classifying parasomnias.

A detailed history may also be supported through the completion of sleep diaries, in which parents record sleep periods, arousals/awakenings and parasomnia events.

“The sleep history should be accompanied by a comprehensive physical and neurological exam, to look for features that would be associated with an underlying sleep disruptor: for obstructive sleep apnea, features such as adenotonsillar hypertrophy, retrognathia, and mid-face hypoplasia; for periodic lib movements in sleep, features such as peripheral neuropathy or myelopathy,” the authors wrote.

Clinicians should be aware that many pediatric parasomnias are benign, self-limited and may not persist into late childhood or adolescence.

The bottom line, said the authors, is that the parents need to monitor their child’s sleep patterns and, if a problem persists, consult with the child’s pediatrician, who will determine whether a visit to a sleep specialist is necessary.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)

Sleep Problems in Kids

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Sleep Problems in Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 28, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/02/01/sleep-problems-in-kids/591.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.