It is not unusual for children to occasionally have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. But in some cases, children have more serious sleep disorders that may require treatment.
During a sleep study, a total of 16 electrodes are placed on your child to record his sleep activities, from brain function and breathing patterns to eye activity and muscle tone. More than 1,000 sheets of readings are recorded for each child during the night, with two technologists present at all times to monitor the children and evaluate the recordings.
An overnight study often reveals the full extent of a medical problem. Treatment for upper airway obstruction often includes surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids. In more complicated cases, other surgical procedures are considered, as well as applying ventilatory support during sleep. For primary sleep disorders other than sleep apnea, behavioral modification and specific medications are also prescribed.
Healthy children may have problems sleeping through the night because of psychological or behavioral factors. A pediatric behavioral psychologist works with children and families, teaching specific behavioral techniques to help children develop better sleep patterns.