Paediatric Sleep Disturbance Unit
Given the high prevalence of sleep disturbance, the Hospital Sanitas CIMA has established the Paediatric Sleep Unit.
Sleep disorders in children are highly prevalent and varied. A correct, multidisciplinary clinical approach, early diagnosis and adequate treatment provide considerable advantages and avoid significant complications in patients.
The main sleep disorders at paediatric age are:
- Respiratory disorders: Snoring and sleep apnoea syndrome. This condition, with a prevalence of 2%, can have significant consequences on the growth and development of children if not diagnosed early.
- Insomnia: This is another sleep disorder which is very frequent in children. In the majority of cases it can be resolved by explaining correct sleeping habits to the parents.
- Parasomnias: Night terrors, nightmares and sleepwalking.
- Sleep disorders associated with medical and neurological illnesses.
- Sleep disturbance in adolescents: Alternations in the circadian rhythm, specifically delayed sleep phase syndrome, are very frequent in this age group. The diagnosis is performed at the clinic with two circadian rhythm sensors fitted over the period of a week. This is a highly innovative technique of which we are pioneers. The treatment is simple, using adequate routines and probiotics.
The diagnostic tests used are:
- A nocturnal sleep polysomnography (PSG), which helps to assess the severity of the case and to decide the best therapeutic option to take. These studies are performed with the child admitted in the clinic. Beforehand, a clinical visit, complementary to the appointment with the specialist referring the patient, will take place for a better assessment of the case. Subsequently, the results and course of treatment will be discussed with the relevant doctor.
- Electroencephalography: This diagnostic test will be conducted in sleeplessness, in sleep deprivation and with daytime sleep records. This test is key to a correct diagnosis of many neurological conditions which are very common in children, such as the different forms of epilepsy, developmental disorders, language disorders and in many or neuropsychological disorders.
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