Children are not exempt from sleep disorders. Between 25-30% of paediatrician visits are sleep-related, according to the Spanish Sleep Society (SES). In the Sleep Disorder Unit of SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital we treat patients with sleeping problems from early childhood to adolescence. We have been leaders in Spain since 2009, when our Unit was created – Spain’s first and only unit focused on paediatric patients.
In order to detect sleep disorders and address the root cause, we first perform an evaluation and, if required, we conduct the necessary tests, which include actigraphy, a sleep study and a multiple latency test, among others. We then prescribe the most appropriate treatment for each case. We conduct 440 nocturnal polysomnographies every year to determine which disorder each patient suffers from.
The disorders we treat include: childhood insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, restless legs, somnambulism, night terrors, rhythmic movement during sleep and circadian rhythm disorders.
In some cases, the treatment indicated is not pharmacological and the solution involves providing the families with tools to correct sleep disorders that affect the health and proper development of their children. A change in habits can have a positive influence on the family dynamic, which is disrupted when the children (newborns, children or adolescents) do not sleep properly.