Sleep problems are common in children and can impact all aspects of a child's functioning. Some problems are a result of the interactions between behavior, environment, and psychosocial issues.
Sleep problems may result in daytime sleepiness, behavior problems (e.g., hyperactivity, inattention), or irritability. It is important for children to get enough sleep every night, and to make sure that it is quality sleep (i.e., not disrupted).
Clinic evaluations at National Jewish Health for children 6 months through college age are provided by Lisa J. Meltzer, PhD, CBSM, the state's only clinical psychologist certified in behavioral sleep medicine who dedicates her entire practice to children and adolescents.
Patients in the Pediatric Behavioral Sleep Clinic are evaluated for all sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless sleep, as well as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
Recommendations are tailored to address the specific sleep problems for each patient. Behavioral treatments for sleep problems are typically short-term, requiring no more than one or two follow-up visits.
With consistency and adherence to treatment recommendations, most behavioral sleep problems in children and adolescents can be resolved quickly through outpatient care and without medication.