Children's Hospital Colorado

Common Pediatric Sleep Disorders in Children and Teens (S1:E30)

Sleep issues in kids seem to be among the most common problems that parents report when visiting their child's pediatrician. Some are concerned that their newborn sleeps too much, others worry their child isn't getting nearly enough sleep each night. No matter the issue, PCPs will need to counsel parents about their child's sleep health.

Some of the most common sleep problems PCPs might encounter include obstructive breathing problems such as sleep apnea, insomnia and sleep trouble due to unhealthy use of electronic devices before bedtime.

Listen to a pediatric pulmonary expert discuss common sleeping problems in kids

Joining us on today's episode of Charting Pediatrics is Ricky Mohon, MD, Medical Director of Sleep Medicine at Children's Colorado. We will discuss the most common sleep disorders and sleep issues affecting pediatric and adolescent patients.

In this episode, our expert explores:

  • The prevalence of sleep disorders in children and how these sleep issues have evolved.
  • How to answer, "How much sleep should my child be getting?" based on age.
  • How pediatricians can counsel family members on their teenager's sleep needs.
  • The disruptive impact electronic devices have on children's sleep patterns.
  • The most common sleep problems Dr. Mohon sees in infants, children and adolescents.
  • How to solve the age-old dilemma of whose responsibility it is to change the diaper in the middle of the night.
  • Behavioral changes that parents can make to limit continuous night calls.
  • How and why parents should let baby learn to self-soothe.
  • Techniques for managing sleep-related breathing disorders and snoring in children.
  • The process of conducting pediatric sleep studies and what sleep specialists monitor.
  • The effects of sleep apnea and insomnia on a child's health and school life.

Understanding sleeping disorders in children based on the patient's age

Dr. Mohon explains that pediatricians must be prepared to counsel parents about their children's sleep health from infancy through their teenage years. Each age bracket has wildly varying sleep needs, and parents may need help clarifying which behaviors are normal versus cause for concern. PCPs may also need to have sensitive conversations with parents of infants about self-soothing, safe sleep and best practices for feedings.

Helping kids and their families sleep better at Children's Colorado

When a child is having trouble sleeping, they're treated by the pediatric experts in our Sleep Center. Our team assists primary care providers and specialists with the diagnosis and treatment of infants, children, and adolescents with sleep problems. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.