When a child has difficulties getting a good night's sleep, many families find the help they need from the experts at the pediatric sleep medicine specialty group. This group is part of the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. These pediatric sleep specialists are also part of the Mayo Clinic Children's Center.
Mayo Clinic doctors see more than 800 children with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea each year. And each year the Center for Sleep Medicine performs nearly 900 sleep studies to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep related disorders.
What to expect at the sleep center
You will first meet with a pediatric sleep specialist, either in person or with a virtual visit, who listens to your concerns and discusses your child's signs and symptoms. Your child may then be scheduled for an overnight sleep study (polysomnogram) at the Center for Sleep Medicine. Overnight sleep studies for children, including infants, are offered Sunday through Thursday. If your child is being evaluated, you'll stay overnight at the sleep center, too.
When you arrive, you and your child will be shown to a sleep study room equipped with special monitoring equipment and given a chance to change into your pajamas. The sleep center technician will apply electrodes to your child's head and arm. Then you'll go through your normal bedtime routine, such as having a snack, brushing your teeth and reading. During the night, the sleep center team monitors your child's breathing, oxygen levels, heartbeat, brain activity, body movements and snoring. The tests are noninvasive and not painful. In the morning, you'll go home.
Your doctor will review the test results and meet with you and your child — in person or virtually — to discuss the results and possible treatment options for your child.
A team focused on your child
Our doctors who treat children with sleep disorders have expertise in pediatrics, lung and breathing conditions (pediatric pulmonologists) and brain and nervous system conditions (pediatric neurologists). Your child's care team also includes a pediatric nurse practitioner and a child-life specialist.
Our sleep medicine doctors talk with you about your concerns and goals, and they work closely with other specialists to develop the best treatment plan for your child. This multispecialty team might include doctors trained in treating children (pediatricians), heart and blood vessel conditions (pediatric cardiologists), mental health conditions (pediatric psychiatrists and psychologists), or ear, nose and throat conditions (pediatric otolaryngologists). The team also might include dental specialists and pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for ear, nose and throat, for neurology and neurosurgery, for respiratory disorders, and for psychiatry by U.S. News & World Report.