Good quality sleep is essential for a child's development and health. If your child has trouble sleeping, Children's National world-renowned experts in pediatric sleep medicine can help diagnose and treat the sleep disorder that affects your child's health and quality of childhood.
Our interdisciplinary sleep medicine team include sleep specialists, pulmonologists, behavioral child psychologists, and nurses. Children's National is one of only a few pediatric hospitals in the world to have two sleep specialists board-certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
Conditions We Treat
Disrupted sleep, snoring, behavioral problems, and excessive daytime sleepiness are signs of a possible sleep disorder. Left untreated, children with sleeping disorders may have related health problems as adults.
The division coordinates the diagnostic testing, therapeutic intervention and follow-up for all sleep disorders, from infancy through adolescence. When a sleep problem is associated with a secondary condition, our specialists work with experts from other divisions at Children's National to develop a comprehensive care plan for your child. We treat all pediatric sleep disorders, including:
- Behavioral sleep disorders
- Central sleep apnea (apnea related to medical conditions)
- Delayed sleep phase
- Narcolepsy and disorders causing sleepiness
- Obstructive sleep apnea (apnea related to a problem with a child's airway)
- Parasomnias (unusual behaviors during sleep)
- Periodic limb movement disorder and restless legs syndrome
- Sleep-related hypoventilation or hypoxemia
Treating Children in the Sleep Laboratory
Children’s Pediatric Sleep Laboratory performs overnight sleep studies on infants, children and adolescents. During a sleep study, EEG is measured, along with eye movement, to assess sleep stages. Physiologic parameters typically recorded during a sleep study include pulse oximetry, end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring, nasal and oral airflow, chest wall, abdominal and limb movement, ECG, and other parameters as indicated. This testing evaluates the presence and severity of central apnea, obstructive apnea, and other respiratory events during sleep.
CPAP/BiPAP titration is performed for patients with obstructive sleep apnea who require non-surgical intervention. Sleep studies also are performed to evaluate the need for nocturnal oxygen in patients with lung disease and the need for nocturnal ventilator support in patients with neuromuscular weakness.
Children’s sleep laboratory is a four-bed facility featuring testing equipment for diagnostic polysomnography and therapeutic application of CPAP/BiPAP. The lab is open Monday through Saturday and conducts overnight sleep studies and daytime multiple sleep latency tests by appointment. More than a thousand pediatric sleep tests are performed annually.