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What is pediatric sleep medicine?

The pediatric sleep medicine team at the Children’s Hospital at Scott & White evaluates and treats sleep-related issues that affect children and adolescents. Our sleep medicine physicians take a multidisciplinary team approach, collaborating with other members of a child’s care team that may include a neurologist; psychologist; dentist; ear, nose, and throat specialists; and a pulmonary specialist.

Sleep disturbances can stem from a medical condition, such as sleep apnea (disrupted breathing during sleep), or from emotional issues, such as depression. There is also a link between sleep disorders in children and ADD and ADHD.

Proper sleep is essential for a growing child’s development. At Children’s Hospital, we have a state-of-the-art, accredited sleep laboratory at the Scott & White Sleep Institute, with specialists trained to assess and treat your child’s sleep needs.

What do sleep medicine specialists treat?

Experts at the Scott & White Sleep Institute treat a range of pediatric sleep-related conditions, including:

  • Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep-related behavioral disorders
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Weight-related sleep disorders
  • Enuresis (bed wetting)
  • Seizure disorders

What is involved in pediatric sleep care?

Pediatric sleep specialists utilize state-of-the-art technology to evaluate and treat sleep disorders. Patients are evaluated by a board-certified sleep specialist who arranges further tests to determine the cause of the sleep problem.

Patients may have a sleep study either in the laboratory or at home. Using techniques such as actigraphy (used to evaluate sleep patterns) and polysomnograms (sleep studies), children are cared for in a clean family-friendly environment. The Scott & White Sleep Institute is one of the first facilities in the country to utilize new sleep technology to evaluate the relationship between sleep disorders and enuresis (bedwetting).

For the unique nature of the sleep issues, Scott & White Healthcare has one of the few pediatric neurologists in Central Texas who specializes in childhood sleep issues, Patricia Ritch, MD, PhD, along with five board-certified sleep doctors.

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