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Diagnosing Sleep Disorders in Children with Pediatric Sleep Studies

Sleep disorders are typically thought of as being a problem that primarily affects adults, but children can also suffer from sleep disorders. Children with sleep disorders may be more likely to display mood and behavior problems, have trouble at school, or become involved in accidents. Quality sleep is essential for good health, which is why University Hospital and Medical Center is pleased to offer the services of our sophisticated Sleep Disorders Center.

Understanding Pediatric Sleep Studies

Your child’s pediatrician might refer him or her to a sleep specialist, who may recommend that your child undergo a sleep study. A sleep study, or polysomnography, is a test that takes place at the hospital overnight. Your child is connecting to monitoring equipment while he or she sleeps, which allows the doctors to evaluate the source of the sleep problem and develop an effective treatment plan.

Discussing the Sleep Study with Your Child

Children readily pick up on anxiety from their parents, so it’s best to be calm or perhaps excited when discussing the sleep study with your child. Explain that it will be much like a sleepover at a friend’s house, except that it will be in a comfortable unit of the hospital. Parents can typically expect that they will stay overnight with their child, so be sure to reassure your child that you will not leave him or her alone.

Preparing for a Pediatric Sleep Study

The doctor will provide specific instructions for your child to follow. For example, your child might be asked to wash his or her hair before heading over to the hospital, but to refrain from applying any leave-in conditioners or other hair products. In addition to following the doctor’s instructions, it’s a good idea to make the evening a fun time for your child to prevent him or her from feeling pressured to fall asleep. Order your child’s favorite takeout before going to the hospital, bring along matching pajamas, and enjoy a favorite board game or movie.

If you suspect your child might have a sleep disorder and your family lives near Tamarac, FL, you can request a referral to a sleep specialist at University Hospital and Medical Center by calling (954) 722-9933. Our Sleep Disorders Center is fully equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to accurately diagnose your child’s problems with sleeping. Browse our online health library or talk to your child’s doctor to learn more about pediatric sleep disorders.


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