If your child is consistently waking during the night or your teen is sleeping excessively in the daytime, there could be an underlying pediatric sleep disorder to blame. Nemours’ board-certified sleep medicine and pulmonology experts have special training to diagnose, evaluate the causes of, and treat sleep disorders in children such as sleep apnea, insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), narcolepsy, nightmares and restless leg syndrome.
Sleep is important for the body to rehabilitate and heal, and studies consistently show that our children aren’t getting enough of it.
Trouble focusing, a decline in grades, irritability, excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep-related injuries, hyperactivity — these can all be signs of a potential pediatric sleep disorder. At Nemours, our pediatric sleep medicine experts will get to the bottom of what’s causing your child’s disrupted rest.
Common Pediatric Sleep Disorders
Some of the common sleep disorders in children we see include:
- insomnia (difficulty getting to and staying asleep)
- delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) (inability to fall asleep at bedtime and difficulty awakening)
- restless leg syndrome (irresistible need for movement)
- narcolepsy (uncontrollable urge to sleep)
- breathing-disordered sleep (snoring, sleep apnea)
- parasomnias (night terrors, nightmares or sleepwalking)
- rhythmic movement disorders (head banging or rocking)
- nocturnal enuresis (nighttime bedwetting)
- bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding or clenching)
- biological clock (circadian) rhythm disorders
- nocturnal (nighttime) seizures
Evaluating Sleep Disorders: Pediatric Sleep Studies
As part of our comprehensive sleep medicine services, Nemours conducts pediatric sleep studies, known as polysomnography, to evaluate sleep disorders in newborns, children and teens. Pediatric sleep studies monitor what happens when your child is sleeping by tracking vital information such as brain waves, breathing, muscle tone, movement and heart rate using state-of-the-art technologies.
Our pediatric sleep specialists use this information to diagnose and treat sleep problems to restore your child’s peaceful, healing sleep for better nights — and days — ahead.
Specialized Care for Kids of All Ages
The Nemours team has the expertise to evaluate and treat children of all ages (from newborns to teens) with underlying medical conditions or complex medical needs that may contribute to pediatric sleep disorders. That includes kids who have:
Expert, Family-Centered Care at Nemours
Nemours’ pediatric sleep medicine experts include pulmonologists who are consistently named among the best doctors in America. Working with licensed respiratory specialists and sleep technicians specifically trained in pediatric sleep disorders, our coordinated care teams share a common goal of helping your child get a good night’s rest.
For Appointments: (904) 697-3600
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
New Patient Forms
- Authorization for Treatment and Release of Information (PDF)
- Assignment of Benefits (PDF)
- Notice of Limited Liability (PDF)
Resources for Patients & Families
Please do not arrive earlier than your scheduled appointment time for your sleep study.
Your child’s pediatric sleep study will be conducted at the Sleep Disorders Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, located at 836 Prudential Drive in downtown Jacksonville, Fla. Please enter through the Palm Avenue garage. The Sleep Disorders Center is located on the seventh floor of the Pavilion Building.
We schedule pediatric sleep study appointments during the day and evening. An automated telephone confirmation will call you two days before your appointment.
If your child is scheduled for an overnight sleep study, please check in at the courtesy desk. Security will direct you and your child to the Pavilion Building. When you arrive, press the intercom button and a member of our pediatric sleep medicine team will escort you and your child to a room.
Sleep studies are conducted two ways:
- Children participating in a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) or daytime nap study — requiring five naps in two-hour intervals throughout the day — will be given breakfast and lunch. These tests should be completed by 4:30 p.m.
- Overnight sleep studies are typically completed by 6:30 a.m. You and your child will be given a food voucher to be used in the Baptist Medical Center cafeteria.
As a parent, you know the value of a good night’s sleep on your child’s overall well-being. The pediatric sleep medicine specialists at our Jacksonville South location know the value too. A good night’s sleep not only allows your child’s body to rest from the day’s activities, it plays an important role in your child’s mental and physical development. When your child doesn’t get enough sleep, or enough quality sleep, the cause may be related to a medical or behavioral condition.
Our board-certified pediatricians, neurologists, pulmonologists (lung doctors) and registered sleep technologists have advanced training in pediatric sleep medicine. Our specialists will get to the bottom of what’s going on, and address ways to help your child start sleeping — and feeling better again.
Pediatric Sleep Studies at Nemours
An overnight sleep study, or polysomnography, is an important tool that measures the quantity, quality and breathing patterns that can affect a child’s good night’s rest.
Rest assured, a sleep study is not scary or painful in any way. At Nemours, we make your child as comfortable as possible. You’ll have a private room with a TV, linens and pillows.
The sleep study begins with a registered sleep technologist attaching painless, sticky electrodes (sensors) to your child’s scalp, mouth, chest, abdomen, index finger and legs, and a sensor at the nose. Their purpose is to monitor:
- brain waves
- eye movements
- body position/movement
- heart rate
- oxygen levels
- muscle tone
Once your child is properly hooked up to the monitors, we’ll turn off the lights to promote sleep onset. Typically, the sleep study lasts about eight hours, and is completed between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. A report will be compiled and sent to your child’s primary care provider and referring doctor.
Please note that your child must sleep alone in the sleep study bed, however one parent can sleep in the same room on a couch that converts into a bed.
- Wash your child’s hair before the sleep study and do not use gels, mousse, sprays or lotions, as they may interfere with the testing.
- Feed your child dinner before arriving at the sleep center.
- Check with the nurse practitioner before you give your child any over-the-counter cold or medications the day of the study.
- Do not allow your child to drink caffeinated beverages or eat chocolate after noon on the day of the study.
- Call to reschedule if your child develops fever, cough, runny nose, or any other health issue the day of or the day before the sleep study.
It’s a good idea to talk to your child a few days before the pediatric sleep study appointment to ease potential fears. Depending on your child’s age and understanding, you might want to say:
- The electrodes/sensors are not painful (and the sticky glue comes off easily with water).
- You can bring a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to stay the night.
- You have to sleep alone in the bed, but mom or dad will sleep next to you on a convertible couch the whole night.
- You will be hooked up to a monitor with wires, but there is plenty of room for you to move comfortably in the bed.
- You may turn on your side to get comfortable for sleep.
- Ask for help getting to the bathroom.
- Ask for help if the wires get tangled or are pulling.
During the sleep study, be positive and reassuring, and encourage your child to relax go to sleep. You may read a bedtime story to help calm your child.
If your child needs additional tests, such as blood tests, breathing tests or X-rays, you can get them on-site at the Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville South. MRIs and nuclear medicine studies, CT scans, ultrasounds and interventional radiology services are provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
To ensure everyone is on the same page (including your primary care provider or pediatrician) your entire medical care team has access to our award-winning electronic health record system that keeps track of every visit, every test result and every procedure at Nemours.
And you can access select parts of your child’s health record through MyNemours, our secure portal that allows you to interact with your care providers and request prescription refills online, anytime.
Family-Centered Care From Nemours
At Nemours, we recognize the importance of the family in the care and healing process. We understand that no one knows your child better than you do — and that you’re one of the most important members of your child’s care team. That’s why we make every effort to include you in the process and to create a close relationship built on mutual respect, collaboration and education.