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Sleep Disorders Center

The Sleep Disorders Center under the Division of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) has the distinction of being the only full-service sleep laboratory and evaluation center dedicated exclusively to children in the New York metropolitan area. Our multidisciplinary team of medical experts is devoted to providing caring, state-of-the art diagnosis and treatment of each child's sleep disorder or sleep-related behavioral problem, while offering family-centered care that educates and empowers each child's extended care network and helps the entire family to enjoy the highest quality of life possible. 

We evaluate and care for the following conditions in the sleep center:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea and other forms of sleep disordered breathing
  • Apnea of prematurity and infancy
  • Central hypoventilation syndromes 
  • Movement disorders during sleep 
  • Parasomnias (sleep walking, sleep terrors)
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep-related epilepsy
  • Chronic respiratory insufficiency

Take a Virtual Tour

The Sleep Disorders Center is highlighted in the Children's Hospital virtual tour. Click on CHAM Centers in the main menu of the tour and select Sleep Disorders Center. Click here to go to the Virtual Tour launch page

 

Our multidisciplinary team differentiates sleep disturbances with a physiological cause, such as a craniofacial abnormality, genetic disorder, childhood obesity or obstructed airway, from instances of sleep-related behavioral problems, such as night awakening and refusal to fall asleep, which affect approximately 20 percent of all children. In the former cases, we recommend the most appropriate medical or surgical intervention, while in the latter, we offer counseling and support caregivers to help resolve the issue.

Careful diagnosis and specialized treatment of sleep disorders in children

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing problem that affects two to four percent of children. The condition causes children to wake abruptly when their breathing stops temporarily because of blocked airways. It not only prevents children from falling into the deep sleep they need, but also puts strain on their heart, blood vessels and brain. Children who suffer from this condition are often irritable, hyperactive and affected by daytime sleepiness. Because these symptoms are also associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), parents and teachers often misdiagnose the problem. Usually appearing between the ages of two and five years, when the tonsils and adenoids grow and interfere with air intake, obstructive sleep apnea can often be treated easily by removing the tonsils and adenoids. Obesity is also an increasingly common cause of sleep apnea, and so we sometimes recommend that children lose weight to improve their condition. In some cases, we will prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which gently blows air into the nose to keep the airway open. We can calibrate the correct pressure during the child's overnight observation at the Sleep Center.

Regarding parasomnias, these conditions can be extremely disruptive while they last, resulting in problems of behavior and poor school performance. At our Sleep Center, our multidisciplinary team of medical experts provides caring, state-of-the art diagnosis, which leads to a careful treatment plan tailored to each child's particular sleep disorder or sleep-related behavioral problems.

When children come in for a sleep study, or polysomnogram, during an overnight stay, parents stay with them to help them remain calm. We also encourage caregivers to help develop a diagnosis through their descriptions of how and when their child's sleep is interrupted. Children can relax while playing video games and watching movies from their bed, thanks to wireless keyboards and wall-mounted flat screen monitors.

While monitoring children overnight, we use cutting-edge, noninvasive equipment to determine the cause of their sleep disruptions. We are able to simultaneously measure a child's oxygen, carbon dioxide, heart rate, movement of the chest and abdomen, and brain activity, in order to determine how frequently the brain is waking up.

We are one of only two hospitals in the region equipped to perform tests on premature babies and infants. Such early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better health much earlier in children's development than ever before. Once sleep problems are diagnosed and treated, the entire family is able to sleep more soundly, knowing that children are getting the rest they need to lead active, healthy lives.

We are also engaged in ongoing research into the relationship between obese children and obstructive sleep apnea, and how certain antibodies relate to asthma in children.

Contact information - Sleep Disorders Center

The Children's Hospital at Montefiore
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467

Patient Appointments: 718-741-2035
Fax: 718-515-2138
Directions to CHAM