Frequently Asked Questions – Pediatric Sleep Issues

Do children have sleep problems?

Yes. Just as many children as adults have sleep problems, but sometimes different kinds of problems than adults have. Children have difficulty staying awake in school, trouble focusing in school, and can have difficulty falling asleep at night. Often, very simple non-medical treatments work for children.

Is there a link between ADHD and sleep in children?

Yes. Sleepy children sometimes look different than sleepy adults. Sleepy children can be more active (hyperactive), impulsive, irritable, and have more difficulty focusing than rested children. Sound familiar? These symptoms are similar to ADHD, and if your pediatrician has concerns about this diagnosis, always make sure the sleep is sound first. Medical articles studying sleepy children show similar symptoms to ADHD, and after the sleep is treated, the symptoms improve, often without medication.

Can children have obstructive sleep apnea?

Yes. In fact the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in children is within one percentage point of adults. Unfortunately many children who have apnea don’t get evaluated. Obstructive sleep apnea in children doesn’t always result in loud snoring. This makes it harder to identify in children. That is why children should always be studied at a location with expertise in children, such as ours.