Jefferson University Hospitals

Children with Difficulty Sleeping

Specialists of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center care for children ages 3 and up with:

  • Behavioral insomnia – difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep, often with prolonged crying
  • Narcolepsy – daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks
  • Sleep apnea syndrome – disrupted breathing that leads to frequent breaks in sleep
  • Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder – involves repeated body movements while drowsy or asleep, often seen as head banging, body rocking and head rolling
  • Sleep enuresis (bedwetting) – involuntary urination in children over 5 or 6 years old
  • Sleep-rated fear – fears of monsters, robbers, the dark and shadows
  • Other sleeping conditions and disorders

When Your Child Undergoes a Sleep Study

If your child is undergoing a sleep study at the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center, our staff is willing to accommodate a parent's or caregiver's needs to feel as comfortable as possible during the overnight stay. If you'd like to stay in the room with your child, we can provide a cot or recliner to sleep on. If you prefer to sleep in an adjacent room, we will offer you a wireless baby monitor so that you can hear your child should he or she need you.

Signs of Sleeping Difficulty in Children

Your child may have a sleeping difficulty if he or she exhibits any of the following behaviors:

  • Falling asleep in class
  • Poor school performance
  • Mood changes
  • Diminished socialization
  • Behavioral problems
    • Non-compliance
    • Aggression
    • Hyperactivity
    • Poor impulse control
  • Family disruption

It's important that you give your child as much control over their sleeping situation as possible and provide constant praise and positive feedback during their therapy.