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Pediatric Sleep Center – helping families get a good night’s sleep
When a 2-year-old is not sleeping well, no one is sleeping well. Jaimee Willhoite of Moraine knew her daughter Adalyn was struggling in her sleep, but wasn’t sure what to do. While Adalyn was napping one day, Jaimee noticed the 2-year-old gasping for air.
“I knew that wasn’t right. It scared me, so I got her checked out real quick” she recalls.
Jaimee’s pediatrician suspected Adalyn had a mild case of sleep apnea – interrupted breathing during sleep – and referred her to Dayton Children’s accredited Pediatric Sleep Center for a sleep study.
“We got there in the early evening on August 30, 2009, and the technologist talked to us and then started putting the wires on Adalyn,” Jaimee says. Her daughter was worried about the wires, but Scott Melin, a registered polysomnography technologist and respiratory therapist, put Adalyn at ease.
Adalyn Willhoite of Dayton rests in her mom’s arms. After her sleep study revealed enlarged tonsils and adenoids, the 2-year-old had surgery to treat her sleep problem.
Children undergoing a sleep study are connected to 27-28 wires that provide different pieces of information for Samuel Dzodzomenyo, MD, director of the Pediatric Sleep Center at Dayton Children’s, to evaluate. A video camera also provides information to help Dr. Dzodzomenyo diagnose the problem.
Because it takes some time to hook up all the wires, kids can read, watch DVDs or listen to music while the technician prepares them for the sleep study. “Scott was real nice to us. He kept Adalyn entertained while he hooked up the wires. He even made her bracelets out of the gauze they used around her head. Before long, Adalyn fell right to sleep,” Jaimee says.
Sleep is a time when our bodies and brains recharge and get the rest that is important for rejuvenation, growth and cellular repair. Getting enough quality sleep is especially important for children because they are still growing and developing. “Slow wave sleep promotes the secretion of the growth hormone that is essential for normal growth and development. If children do not get enough sleep, their growth and development may be stunted,” says Dr. Dzodzomenyo. Unfortunately lack of a good night’s sleep cannot be made up in an afternoon nap or on the weekends.
Dr. Dzodzomenyo also states that lack of sleep may contribute to other medical disorders. “Many children become unfocused and hyper when they aren’t getting enough sleep. This can sometimes lead to the diagnosis of ADHD. Once the sleep problem is dealt with, however, parents may discover that diagnosis was wrong,” he says.
“Sleep problems are not new, but there is more focus on the importance of treating them,” Dr. Dzodzomenyo says. “Children who have ADHD do much better when they are sleeping well. Poor sleep may also contribute to obesity, because children are sometimes tired and sluggish during the day when they don’t get enough sleep. This leads to an inactive lifestyle.”
Scott Melin, a registered polysomnography technologist and respiratory therapist, is specially trained and experienced in working with children of all ages.
If a child has a continual sleeping problem, talk to your child’s doctor about a possible sleep disorder. Children with other types of sleep disorders tend to have daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep or waking up, behave differently in school and have unexplained hyperactivity. Other symptoms of sleep disorders include night terrors, sleepwalking, bedwetting and periodic leg movement.
Jaimee Willhoite learned that Adalyn’s sleep problems were caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. These were removed at Dayton Children’s on December 16. Adalyn – as well as Jaimee – are now getting a good night’s sleep.
Get tips to help your child sleep better from Dayton Children’s sleep experts.
Why Dayton Children’s sleep center?
The Pediatric Sleep Center at Dayton Children’s is the region’s only accredited pediatric sleep center that focuses solely on sleep problems of infants, children and teens. This offers numerous benefits to you and your child. The center is directed by Samuel Dzodzomenyo, MD, who is board certified in sleep medicine. He is also board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
- Staff is specially trained and experienced in caring for infants, children and teens. Parents are welcome to stay with their child during the sleep study.
- Dayton’s sleep center is one of a small number in the country accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The credentialed polysomnography technicians are also pediatric respiratory therapists. They are required to understand the physical and developmental needs of children at every age. Extra time and attention are needed when performing tests on children, especially if the child has special needs.
- The sleep center has cribs and beds to fit infants, children and teens. Because children who are obese or overweight are often tested in the sleep center, there is a room that has been specially designed for their comfort. The staff in the sleep center can evaluate whether an infant’s apnea monitor can be discontinued. The center is equipped with different-sized masks to fit the tiniest infant.
- A soft cream – rather than hard cement – is used to attach monitoring wires for the sleep study. This is gentler to the skin and much easier to remove when the study is over.
- Sleep clinics are held all day on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) clinic is held Thursday morning.
For more information or a referral, talk to your child’s doctor or visit our website.
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