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Children's Sleep Disorders

We Help to Manage your Child's Sleep Problems

Managing your child’s sleep problems is a common — and often stressful — part of parenting. A lack of adequate rest doesn’t just bring out your child’s inner grouch. It can also harm their health, increasing the risk of obesity, depression and hypertension, among other conditions. Sleep disorders can affect children of any age, from infants to teens, and they can be disruptive to the whole family. 

MultiCare Sleep Medicine, working with Mary Bridge Children’s Sleep Disorders Clinic, offers sleep studies, treatment and consultation for a full range of pediatric sleep disorders. You can expect our team of specialists to listen to your concerns and partner with you to find solutions for your child’s sleep woes.

Types of Disorders

We treat a variety of pediatric sleep disorders, such as:

Symptoms of a Sleep Disorder

The amount of sleep your child needs varies by age. Most school-aged children need at least nine hours of sleep per 24-hour period. Sleep disorders can rob your child of the precious slumber they need to grow, learn and exercise good judgment. It may be time to contact your pediatrician or a sleep specialist if your child displays any of the following signs:

  • Troubling behavioral problems — for example being hyperactive, withdrawn or moody
  • Difficulty paying attention in school
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Loud snoring, gasping or choking
  • Abnormal nighttime behaviors, such as sleepwalking or nightmares

Treatment Options

Most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. Our team diagnoses these problems by conducting an overnight sleep study with your child in one of our labs. A sleep study is a painless way to monitor the quantity and quality of your child’s sleep. Parents accompany children for the duration of the study.

Treatment depends on several factors, such as the type and severity of your child’s sleep disorder, as well as their overall health. Common treatment options include:

Improving Sleep Hygiene: Forming habits that support sleep, such as establishing a relaxing bedtime routine and limiting evening screen time are important for enhancing the quality of your child’s sleep. 

Modifying Lifestyles: Sometimes behaviors and practices during the day, such as drinking too much caffeine, not getting enough exercise or eating big meals too close to bedtime, can have a negative impact on sleep. To better prepare your child for a restful night, our specialists may discuss aspects of your lifestyle with you to see what is aiding or impeding their ability to get a good night’s sleep.    

Adjusting the Sleep Environment: Troubleshooting a poor quality sleep environment — for example a sagging mattress or a room that’s too hot — can ease sleep problems.

Taking Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can be effective for treating sleep disorders. Some are designed for short-term use only while others can be taken for longer periods of time. Your child’s sleep specialist or regular doctor will discuss these options with you. 

Undergoing Procedures: In comes cases, your child’s sleep specialist may make a referral for surgical procedures, such as a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy (removal of tonsils and adenoids).

See a Sleep Specialist

If you would like your child to be evaluated for a sleep problem, talk to your pediatrician about a referral for a  sleep evaluation with one of our pediatric sleep specialists.