You feel better when you wake up from a full, restful night’s sleep. But do you realize that sleep problems, in addition to being a drain on your quality of life, can pose serious health problems? Nearly 70 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds are believed to suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy and insomnia. Yet only a small percentage of people are aware of the nature of their condition and that effective treatment is available. Baptist Beaumont Hospital offers sleep testing for adults and children as young as age 5. Some common sleep disorders include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Loud snoring and gasping or choking during sleep due to an obstructed airway.
- Insomnia: Persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Narcolepsy: Sufferers frequently will become drowsy or fall asleep at inappropriate times and places. These “sleep” attacks can last from several seconds to more than 30 minutes and may occur even if the person has had a normal amount of nighttime sleep.
- Restless legs syndrome: A crawling or tingling sensations in the legs while awake and an irresistible urge to move the legs during rest. Leg movement may cause frequent awakening and result in excessive daytime sleepiness.
How well does your child sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 70 percent of children ages 10 and younger have problems sleeping. Sleep disorders affecting children include:
- night terrors
- sleep apnea
Children who have learning, attention or behavior problems may suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. Researchers studied 508 children and found that children whose parents reported excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) — despite little indication of short sleep from traditional measurements — were more likely to experience learning, attention/hyperactivity and other problems than children without EDS.
Cognitive and behavioral functioning as a result of EDS can have a serious impact on a child’s development. When children are referred for neurobehavioral problems, they should be assessed for potential risk factors for EDS. Recognizing and treating EDS can offer new strategies to address some of the most common neurobehavioral challenges in young school-age children.
Parents and educators are good resources for determining whether a child seems excessively sleepy in the daytime — and the problem should be taken seriously.
A better night’s rest
To learn more about sleep testing at Baptist Beaumont Hospital, call (409) 212-6136