When Should I See a Pediatric Sleep Specialist?
Is your child not sleeping well? If this is the case, then you might be wondering whether it’s time to take your child in to see a sleep doctor. It may be important to do so, as a sleep issue could be caused by a sleep disorder, and this can lead to behavioral issues. To get a better idea of when you should see a pediatric sleep doctor, read on or reach out to us here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.
Could my child have a sleep disorder?
It’s true that a sleep disorder in a child can lead to behavioral problems, so if you’re noticing one or more of these behavioral problems with your child, it could be the result of a sleep disorder. You might also notice other signs of a sleep disorder like:
- Your child isn’t getting at least 9 hours of sleep a night, which is necessary for children
- Problems with your child’s mood, memory, concentration, learning, and performance, which your child’s teachers may have noticed
- A slow reaction time
- Trouble falling or staying asleep, or trouble staying awake during the day
- Sleepwalking, nightmares, and/or bedwetting
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
So when should I see a pediatric sleep doctor?
If you’ve noticed your child has one or more of the issues listed above, then it’s time to take your child in to see a sleep doctor. A pediatric sleep doctor like one of ours here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders can determine whether your child may have a sleep disorder. It’s quite possible that issues like snoring, bedwetting, enlarged tonsils, or even a jaw joint disorder could be causing a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, but only a proper professional can make this determination.
It really is important not to wait to see a sleep doctor if your child has been experiencing sleep issues. These issues can cause and complicate a sleep disorder, and a sleep disorder can cause behavioral issues and, later in life, more serious health issues like heart problems.
What can a pediatric sleep doctor do for my child?
When you go see a pediatric sleep doctor, he or she might refer your child for a sleep study. This study can really help the doctor determine whether your child has a sleep disorder. With a sleep study, you and your child will spend the night at a sleep clinic where specialists will observe your child’s sleep habits, sleep behaviors, and breathing.
Sleep disorders and related disorders like sleep apnea, teeth grinding, and jaw joint (TMJ) disorder can be treated by a pediatric sleep doctor. Often, the doctor will recommend a treatment called oral appliance therapy. It can be a better option over CPAP therapy (with a CPAP machine) which can be pretty uncomfortable for a child. Oral appliance therapy uses a simple, comfortable mouth insert to fix the conditions that cause many sleep disorders in the first place. We’re proud to be able to provide this solution to you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. We also provide our KoalaKIDZzz® program for children as young as two years old who have a sleep disorder.
We’d be delighted to tell you more about this program, oral appliance therapy, and how else we can help your child at our clinic. This can happen during a simple meet-and-greet/consultation with us at one of our locations. Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has many locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, so we ask that you please see our Locations page to book with us at the location nearest you. Alternatively, you can call our head office.