Treat children with respiratory, non-respiratory and behavioral sleep disorders
Samitivej Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive services for childhood sleep disorders, from initial diagnosis through treatment.
Children normally breathe in a rhythm when they are awake because brains are alert and all of their muscles are functioning normally. However, once a child falls asleep, her brain begins to relax and so do all of the muscles, including breathing muscles. Thus, while sleeping, breathing may become irregular and more difficult resulting in snoring.
For children, snoring is most common between ages 2 to 6 years old due to the enlargement of adenoids (located behind the nose) and/or tonsils (located at the base of the tongue), which blocks the upper airway passage. It is also common in overweight children.
Snoring is a symptom of breathing difficulty while sleeping. The breathing is usually forceful. The sufferer tends to breathe with their mouth open, making intermittent snoring sounds, and sleep restlessly in strange sleeping positions. When snoring, your chest tends to collapse and your stomach will rise while you are breathing in. Children who snore often wet their bed at night, are very active and unable to stay still during day time, and have reduced learning capability. As a result, work efficiency drops or the children have low levels of concentration and become easily agitated. They wake up frequently at night from bad dreams, and have problems waking up in the morning due to dizziness or to feeling un-refreshed. The best diagnostic test for snoring is polysomnography, which uses a modern polysomnograph machine to measure and record a number of physiologic variables during sleep. The procedure involves having the patient sleep one night in a special room at the hospital. For child patients, parents are welcome to sleep with the child. A nurse will stand by to monitor the patient’s breathing, while a computer will measure various values through probes that are placed at various locations on the patient’s body. This test, which lasts 6 to 8 hours, is painless, and the information acquired can reveal the level of severity of the airway restriction during a child’s sleep.