Sleep disorders


New Member
Sleep disorders are very insidious and secretive things. I know from personal experience.

Adults can have them..and children can have them. You can have one without even knowing it. A child can have one and the parents may never have a clue.

A number of years ago I had a sleep study done as part of the treatment process for my treatment resistant bipolar disorder. I was sure that it was totally unneccesary because I was sure that my sleep was fine... I was totally shocked to find out that I had a sleep disorder. I didn't know..and my husband didn't know.

But there it was in my Polysomnogram readings and in the videocam recordings taken during my sleep. I have a problem with restless movement at night, and I was told that I was never going down past the second stage of sleep into REM sleep because of this..and that this was triggering my mania over and over again. This sleep study was covered 100 percent by my insurance company because my psychiatrist gave me the referral.

I decided to put some information together for this board regarding childhood sleep disorders because I have recently seen a lot of parents here struggling with sleep issues.

It's quite well documented that sleep deprivation on any level can cause behavioral, emotional and physical manifestations that resemble other disorders. If you are frustrated that treatments and behavioral training techniques that you are trying for your child don't seem to be working, you may want to look at the following information on sleep disorders in children.

Diagnosis of a sleep disorder in an adult or a child begins with a physical examination and may also include neurological or psychological evaluation, blood tests, pulmonary function tests, or other procedures. These are done prior to the sleep study itself.

A detailed sleep study (called a polysomnogram) provides physiological clues about the patient's symptoms. The polysomnogram is a computerized study of the person's sleep pattern and bodily responses during sleep. Using non-invasive electrodes, the polysomnogram records heart rhythm, breathing, eye movements, electrical brain activity, and other body functions throughout the sleep cycle. Additional monitoring may be conducted to study specific problems. For example, persons with suspected sleep apnea may need measurement of nasal or oral airflow with blood oxygen saturation (oxymetry).

This testing is performed overnight. Patients stay in comfortable, home-like private rooms with music and television. You can even bring snacks in for your evening munchies! Unobtrusive electrodes and sensors are placed on the legs, arms, chest and head. They are discreetly linked from the patient's room to a central room staffed by sleep specialists. The study includes the following tests (a "channel" means an electrode or sensor):

1 Brain wave activity (EEG) - 4 channels Required for children over 2 y. and adults
2 Eye movement (EOG) - 2 channels Required for children over 2 y. and adults
3 Jaw activity(EMG) Required for children over 2 y. and adults
4 Heart activity - ECG Required for all tests
5 Leg movement - 2 channels Required for all tests
6 Air flow Required for all tests
7 Respiratory activity - chest and abdomen Required for all tests
8 Arterial oxygen saturation Required for all tests
9 End expiratory carbon dioxide Required for children with chronic hyperventilation syndrome and adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
10 Snoring detector Required for patients who report snoring
11 Body position measure Optional
12 pH analyzer * Required for infants suspected of having digestive system disorders
13 Body temperature * Optional for premature babies and for infants
14 Respiratory rate Optional for children
15 Heart rate Optional for children

It's a very interesting experience (and kind of fun!)for most kids..there is no pain involved at any time. The sleep technician comes in at the beginning of the study, which commences at about 8pm. It takes about a half hour to place all the electrodes and sensors. Once you are hooked up you can read, watch TV, play a game, whatever you would normally do at night before bed. You get tired and go to sleep naturally.

Polysomnogram testing is usually completed by 7 a.m.. Most sleep study clinics have accommodations available for parents whose children are undergoing a sleep study.

Depending on the symptoms, accurate diagnosis may require that additional tests be conducted, including:
1. Multiple sleep latency testing, for narcolepsy (a four hour test done during the day).
2. Continuous positive airway pressure, for sleep apnea (another nighttime procedure).
3. Prolonged activity monitoring, to measure abnormal circadian (sleep-wake) cycles.

Usually, sleep disorders can be treated by non-invasive methods. In some cases, treatment may be as simple as changes in the sleep environment or in daily routines. Often, short-term or long-term medications can resolve sleep disorders. Patients with sleep apnea may find relief with nasal CPAP (ventilation assistance).

According to research, about 20% of the general population suffers from some degree of sleep disorders which can sometimes be severe enough to cause serious complications, incapacitation and even death. Sleep disorders, regardless of the extent of their severity, can have a profound effect on our lives.

Respiratory-related disorders are the cause of most sleep problems. They can cause serious damage to heart and lungs, which, in more advanced stages, may lead to arrhythmia's, hypertension and heart failure. In addition the activity of the central nervous system which regulates sleep architecture is also effected due to decreased oxygen supply to the brain and frequent awakenings.

Sleep disorders in children may cause arrested physical and emotional development, behavioral disturbances and a decreasing ability to concentrate.

In adults, sleep disorders may cause extreme tiredness, loss of concentration and a pronounced inability to function normally in their daily routines. In addition, patients suffering from sleep disorders are in the high-risk group for causing traffic and work accidents.

I would not call a sleep apnea test fun!! had one-- wired for sound- glue in hair-- and I have very long hair- chest legs arms-- they rubbed the skin off with a swab-- to get better reading- I had wires everywhere!!! and the idea someone was watching me sleep unnerved me- then after all that they woke me up early- said nothing -- get back to ya-- and sent me home - to drive an hr away tired. it does let them know what is going on but it aint fun sorry - real sore subject for me. dont mean to be a wet blanket but but to me it was very intrusive

me48 husband 34 lite of my life 3 and 4yr olds adhd/bipolar/odd they make my heart smile 26yr old dqughter obsessive compulsive/sever anxiety/depression- ATTILLA THE HUN owner of the clan 8yr old pomaranian


New Member
Granted it's not a heck of a lot of fun for grownups...but kids think it's keen! They don't even mind having their skin scraped raw when they get to see all the high tech gizmos.

true they would probably be more relaxed or nervous if the situation was upsetting to themm- my little ones dont want to be away from me at night-- 3 yr old panics-- he is adhd bipolar maybe older ones might find it fun

Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
Thanks for the information Paula - I had no idea that you could have a sleep disorder and not know it.

My SO is bugging me to go to the doctor as he thinks I may have one - I have taken to talking really a lot - I can carry on a conversation with him as well in between my snores lol The other night he got up to go to the bathroom and said I sat bolt upright, pointed to the corner and warned him about be careful not to bump into those plates on the rope.

And maybe its because I seem not to sleep - he is in pain most of the night, and every little moan I check to see if he is ok, and am really careful I guess even in my sleep of making waves in the bed as even that hurts him - I wake up every time I turn.

But I will check with the doctor when I go in for a checkup - I actually find myself dozing at work sometimes - kinda embarassing..


Me - 50 definately stressed-now joined the ranks of the medicated 20 Mg Paxil)
SO Sydney-disabled & still doesn't understand clockwork of difficult child but is at least making an attempt
difficult child Danny -16 Years has severe ADHD, ODD, Possible CD& depression. Currently on Dexadrine & Wellbutrin-Currently in camp
easy child Jamie 18, diagnosed with ADD but wants nothing to do with labels, diagnosis, medications or his difficult child brother
easy child Brandie 30,finally ending her marriage from a major difficult child, one grandson Nathan.
STBX Martin - takes being an English excentric to new levels -hasen't got a clue

Sometimes the only difference between our house and the titanic is that they had an orchestra....


New Member
Obviously you are a very light sleeper Marcie..but snoring plus daytime drowsiness could indicate sleep apnea. You'd be wise to check this out, it can really cause some serious health troubles if left alone. Are you struggling with weight by any chance? Generally people with moderate to severe apnea have unexplained weight gain.

I'm in the same boat. I'm pretty sure I have developed apnea as a secondary sleep disorder because I have all of these antideps have caused me to put on a lot of weight and now I snore hard because of the extra weight....hubby says I have breathing fits at night. I'm going in for another sleep study in a couple of weeks.

Sleep disorders are no joke..they can really mess you up physically, mentally and emotionally.