Sleep Disorders and Conditions in Children

The expert pediatric sleep team at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is experienced in treating a wide range of sleep disorders in children. These include:

  • Circadian rhythm disorders: Children with these disorders have challenges with the timing of their sleep. For example, they may experience a sleep-wake schedule problem that makes it hard to wake up and go to sleep. Our team uses a variety of techniques to help diagnosis and treat these disorders. One technique is chronotherapy, where sleep hours are gradually pushed forward, hour by hour over time, so that the patient is able to sleep at normal times at night.
  • Insomnia: This condition can cause a range of issues such as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep or waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep.
  • Narcolepsy: Caused by overwhelming sleepiness, children with narcolepsy fall asleep involuntarily during the day or nap frequently.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: With this condition, a child may gasp when snoring due to an interruption in breathing.
  • Restless leg syndrome: Sometimes known as growing pains, restless leg syndrome can cause an uncomfortable feeling in a person’s legs.
  • Separation anxiety: Generally around the age of six months, your child may begin to experience separation anxiety or an anxious state when you leave the room, especially at bedtime.
  • Sleep Studies: UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Pediatric Sleep Center performs comprehensive family-friendly overnight and daytime sleep studies through which our doctors monitor and analyze a child’s specific sleep issue(s) to determine the best treatment.
  • Sleepwalking, sleep talking, night terrors and nightmares: These conditions may be caused by viewing too much violence . Our team uses Imagery Rehearsal Therapy to help patients choose the scenes and images that the patient would like to see in their dreams.
  • School performance due to sleep issues: Our team helps children who miss school due to sleep issues, including those who have trouble waking up in morning, kids who fall asleep during the day or children who take excessively long naps during the day.
  • Specialized behavioral needs: In children with conditions such as autism, ADHD, anxiety disorders, eating disorders or other issues, our team can help with the behavioral aspects of care.
  • Chronic illness: For individuals that are adjusting to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions, we help with issues that affect sleep such as managing side effects of medication, setting up physical activity plans and helping patients transition to any new therapies for their specific conditions.
  • Family history of sleep problems: Certain sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are more likely to occur in children with a family history of the condition.