Sleep Problems in Children
Sleep problems, including problems at bedtime and frequent night waking, affect 30%–40% of infants and children. Effects of sleep disorders on the health of the child may include poor growth, adverse behavioural and learning effects and, for the child and family, worsened mental health, and poor quality of life. The likelihood that important and treatable sleep disorders go unrecognised is increased because many parents do not mention their concerns to their general practitioner, or the doctor does not ask about or identify the issues. Simple management strategies can be effective at a primary care level. An important role of the GP or general paediatrician is to identify children’s sleep problems and to differentiate those who would benefit from referral to specialty services. Med J Aust 2013; 199 (8): 31-35.
Parents should seek advice and help from their family doctors if they suspect sleep problems in their children. Here at Darwin Private Hospital, children can get tested for sleep disorders through specialist sleep physicians care.
How to get referral for sleep testing for your child
- Talk to your GP about the issue and your GP will give a referral to our service if appropriate
- Our staff will contact you to arrange a consultation with a paediatric sleep physician
- The paediatric sleep physician will make a judgment if your child needs a sleep study and the type of sleep study required
- Following the sleep study a review consultation will be organised with the sleep physician and he/she will advise you appropriate management
- If your child needs a complex sleep study we will co-ordinate for you to travel interstate to have them tested in a dedicated paediatric sleep study centre