Sleep Disorders

In addition to causing daytime sleepiness, sleep disorders in children can adversely contribute to variety of underlying medical conditions including headaches, seizures, obesity, and behavioral problems.

Some common types of sleep disorders are as follows:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition in which the child has brief, repeated pauses in his/her breathing during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, restlessness during sleep, morning headache, and sweating during sleep. The most common causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea is a condition in which the effort to breathe during sleep is either absent or severely diminished. Symptoms include snoring, restlessness during sleep, morning headache, and sweating during sleep. Central apnea is caused by a problem with the body’s regulation of breathing during sleep.

Leg Movement Disorders

Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition in which the child experiences unusual or uncomfortable sensations in his/her legs during rest or sleep. Symptoms include crawling, painful or tingling sensations, as well as the uncontrollable urge to move the legs. The cause is unknown.

Periodic Leg Movement Disorder is a condition in which the child experiences repeated night awakenings due to repetitive movements of the legs during sleep. The cause for this disorder is also unknown.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a condition in which the most common symptom is that the child experiences excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The exact cause is unknown.

Parasomnias

Parasomnias are unusual movements or behaviors that occur during the various stages of sleep. Common parasomnias in children include sleepwalking, nightmares, and night terrors. The exact cause of parasomnias is unknown.


External Resources

The National Sleep Foundation

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine


Erlanger Resources

Pediatric Neurology

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