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Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Put Your Child’s Sleep Problems to Bed

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For questions or
appointment requests,
call 413-794-KIDS (5437).

If your child doesn’t sleep well, it can be a nightmare for the whole family. From babies to toddlers to teens, many children have ongoing sleep problems that make them more than just tired and grumpy. These issues may also cause learning and behavior problems. Some sleep problems – like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – can even be dangerous to your child’s health.

Sleep Problems We Treat

Our pediatric sleep experts treat neurological and pulmonary-based sleep disorders, such as:

  • Insomnia – trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both
  • Narcolepsy – daytime sleep problems, like suddenly falling asleep, even while doing something else
  • Hypersomnia – excessive daytime sleepiness not caused by lack of sleep
  • Obstructive sleep apnea – snoring and difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Parasomnias – sleep walking, sleep talking, or other abnormal behaviors during sleep
  • Sleep-related epilepsy

We can also help provide comfort and treatment if your child has other common sleep problems like nightmares, night terrors, and bedwetting.

Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Program

No matter your child’s sleep problem, there’s help at Baystate Children’s Hospital Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program, part of the Baystate Regional Sleep Program. We offer a comprehensive program and approach to diagnose and treat your child. These describe our program in greater detail:

Your Child’s Sleep Team

Your child’s sleep care team includes physicians who are board certified in pediatric pulmonology and neurology, plus highly trained sleep technologists. We have the region’s only pediatric neurologist who is certified in sleep medicine. Our Behavioral Health Services team helps evaluate children with insomnia. Our Developmental Pediatrics team may help evaluate younger patients (those under age 6).

When needed, our treatment team can include other Baystate Health pediatric specialists. These specialists provide services to treat conditions that may be causing your child’s sleep problem.

Our Sleep Study Options

Your child’s doctor may recommend a sleep study, or polysomnogram, to help get to the root of the sleep problem. During the study, our medical staff will watch your child sleep, as this test records your child’s brain waves, heart rate, breathing, and more.

Baystate Children’s Hospital is the only facility in the western Massachusetts region to offer hospital-based, pediatric sleep studies, and the only one to offer sleep studies for babies and children under age three. These studies are performed in the Baystate Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Center, which offers special amenities for children, under the direction of board certified pediatric neurologists.

Your child will stay overnight in one of our private, home-like pediatric bedrooms or cribs. A parent can stay close by in a separate sleep room for family. Our staff will make you and your child as comfortable as possible throughout this painless process.

Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If your child snores or has trouble breathing at night, a sleep study may help doctors find out if your child has a condition like OSA. Children with untreated OSA may be at greater risk of heart, behavior, learning, and growth problems.

If your child is diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, we can refer you to pediatric ear, nose, and throat specialists (ENT or otolaryngologist). Many children with OSA have larger tonsils and adenoids. The most common treatment is to remove your child’s tonsils and/or adenoids (tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy). We can also refer you to one of our pediatric pulmonologists for further testing.

In addition to testing for OSA, we evaluate patients for sleep-related hypoventilation, including those with significant chronic pulmonary and neuromuscular disorders, and nocturnal epilepsy.

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