Common Sleep Disorders In Children

People with insomnia may experience symptoms regularly, or symptoms may be more common with illness, mental illness, or additional stress. Because the symptoms can be so similar, it’s important for doctors to rule out sleep disorders before diagnosing ADHD. It’s not often that children have sleep problems so severe that they are misdiagnosed with ADHD, but it can happen. For children with ADHD who don’t have a sleep disorder but do have trouble sleeping, behavioral changes can help. This can be a more consistent nighttime routine or limit screen time before bed.

Clear light therapy is a form of therapy used to treat some sleep disorders. Looking at a light box designed to mimic sunlight causes changes in the brain to help treat some sleep disorders. This type of treatment is particularly effective for circadian arrhythmias, insomnia and hypersomnia.

Planned sleep schedules are also an important part of treating circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Symptoms of sleep disorders include being very sleepy during the day and having trouble falling asleep at night. Some people may fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while driving. Other symptoms include breathing in an unusual pattern or feeling an uncomfortable need to move while trying to fall asleep. Unusual or annoying movements or experiences during sleep are also possible.

In general, shorter-acting medications are used for insomnia that manifests with difficulty starting sleep, and longer-acting medications are used for sleep-supporting insomnia. The choice of drug is also determined by the presence of comorbid conditions (e.g., depression, antidepressants; anxiety, anxiolytics; or neuropathic pain, antiepileptic drugs). For insomnia specifically caused by depression, antidepressants are the first medications of choice. For circadian arrhythmias, melatonin and melatonin receptor agonists have chronobiotic properties, in addition to their hypnotic effect, which may be helpful in changing the sleep phase. For sleep disorders related to medical conditions that cause pain, shortness of breath, or related to neurodegenerative disorders, treatment is that of the underlying condition. This category of circadian rhythm sleep disorders is linked to a person’s internal clock and the factors that regulate their 24-hour sleep cycle.

Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep disturbances include excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing, or increased movement during sleep. Other signs and symptoms include an irregular sleep-wake cycle and difficulty falling asleep. Behavioral changes in sleep disorders that cause excessive daytime sleepiness include diet and exercise to promote weight loss and positional therapy for OSA. Positional therapy has modest benefits for sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, and AHI in positional OSA. In narcolepsy, scheduled naps, which are usually refreshing, can help stay alert and reduce the need for stimulants.

Parasomnias are common in childhood; Sleepwalking, talking to sleep, confused excitement and sleep anxiety usually occur in the first half of the night, while nightmares are more common in the second half of the night. Only 4% of parasomnias will persist after adolescence; therefore, the best management is the peace of mind of the parents and the right safety measures. Behavioral insomnia in children is common and characterized by a learned inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Management begins with the consistent implementation of good sleep hygiene practices, and in some cases, the use of extinction techniques may be appropriate. Delayed sleep phase disorder is most common in adolescence, which presents as difficulty falling asleep and waking up at socially acceptable times. Treatment includes good sleep hygiene and a consistent sleep-wake schedule, with nighttime melatonin and/or bright morning light therapy if needed.

Mild air pressure administered during sleep may also be effective in treating sleep apnea. Because disruption of regular breathing or airway obstruction during sleep can cause serious health complications, the symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. ESD is defined by feelings of intense dizziness throughout the day that can force people to sleep at inopportune times. People who feel too light-headed during the day may also be more prone to mistakes and accidents.

Well, whatever the cause, the lack of a normal sleep pattern is called sleep arrhythmia. And finally, there are the types of sleep disorders that wake you up in the middle of the night with a shock, and these are called parasomnias and they can seriously disrupt your sleep. Children often have nightmares, waking up from a deep sleep in a terrified state. The good news is that you don’t have to live with fewer hours of sleep, as there are decent treatments for sleep disorders. If you have trouble sleeping through the night and as a result you’re crawling through the day, talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a sleep specialist for an evaluation.