Jodi Whitaker

Normal Bedtime Battles, or Pediatric Sleep Disorder?

Published: Oct 8, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2012) — The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, Oct. 7.

 

By Dr. Zoran Danov

 

Bedtime can be a struggle for both tired parents and resistant children. Adequate and quality sleep is important for children to remain healthy during childhood and into adolescence and adulthood. While bedtime battles are common in many households, for some children there could be something else at work: About  20 percent of children suffer from some sort of sleep disorder.

 

Sleep disorders include - but are not limited to - sleep apnea and behavioral insomnia of childhood.

 

Sleep apnea is a condition in which there is a regular, momentary stopping of breath during sleep. These stoppages can lead to sleep disruptions and also falls in blood oxygen levels. Some warning signs of sleep apnea in children are:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Weight gain.
  • Dry or sore throat in the morning.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Snoring or stoppages in breath during sleep.
  • Undue sleepiness during the day or difficulty falling asleep.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are both helpful in resolving obstructive sleep apnea. When those measures fail, positive airway pressure devices are used for those with sleep apnea, providing a gentle airflow to prop open the airway during sleep so as to avoid waking up during the night.  A small mask fitted over the nose and mouth provides the airflow and is secured with straps around the head.

 

There are several types of behavioral insomnia of childhood, in which the child refuses or resists going to bed, falls asleep later than normal or is awake for prolonged periods of time during the night, prompting parental mediation.

 

There are other general warning signs that may not necessarily point to one of the mentioned childhood sleep disorders but should still be addressed by a physician. Some of these warning signs include: sleepwalking, anger or temper problems, restless legs, night or sleep terrors, unusual sleeping schedule , snoring and lack of energy

 

There are several ways to diagnose a sleep problem. As in any disorder, patient history and physical exams are the most important first steps in reaching a diagnosis. Some sleep disorders require additional tests, such as a polysomnography, a multiple sleep latency test or a maintenance of wakefulness test. Such disorders can be effectively treated to ensure that your child stays healthy. If you think your child may be suffering from a sleep disorder, contact your pediatrician.

 

Even if no disorder is present, encourage healthy sleeping habits in children by making sure they:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Have a consistent bedtime routine--go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid or limit late afternoon naps for children past preschool age
  • Utilize the bedroom for sleep only; all other activities like homework and playtime should be done outside the bedroom
  • Exercise regularly during the day but not in the evening
  • Avoid television, computer and video game usage one to two hours before bedtime

Dr. Zoran Danov is Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital.

 

 

danov_zoran_011.jpg
July
 
 
1
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
2
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
3
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
4
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
5
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
6
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Benday Dot Day
Sun
7
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
8
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
9
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
10
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
11
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
12
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
International Youth Water Justice Summit
Sat
13
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
14
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
15
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
16
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Dr. Greg Jicha)
Wed
17
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
18
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
19
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Color Water Balloon Fight
Sat
20
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Summer Salon: Landscape as Subject with Tom Barnes, Photographer
Sun
21
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
22
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
23
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
24
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
25
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
26
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
27
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
28
 
Mon
29
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
30
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Mary Crowley Schmidt)
Wed
31
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
 
 

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Fri, 07/25/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sat, 07/26/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sun, 07/27/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Tue, 07/29/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Wed, 07/30/2014

Reset Page