Sleep in the pediatric population is ever-changing with sleep-specific characteristics and behaviors constantly changing as the child grows. In order to properly treat pediatric patients, sleep technologists need to have a thorough understanding of the stages of sleep development and know the signs of abnormal sleep behaviors.
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Knowing how to properly score a polysomnogram (PSG) is a must for the sleep technologist, and understanding pediatric and infant scoring rules is crucial for those who work with this population as sleep issues can greatly impact growth and overall health as infants and children age into adulthood.
Sleep plays a critical role in the early stages of development in children. It is important to focus not only on the quantity of sleep received but also the quality. While the methods of measuring and evaluating sleep quality are similar to that of adults, there are differences that sleep technologists must consider when testing pediatric patients.
Note: This article was originally published in the 2021 Q1 issue of A2Zzz.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most commonly prescribed device for treating sleep apnea and associated sleep-related breathing disorders, delivering a steady flow of pressurized air into a patient's nose and mouth as they sleep. This keeps airways open and helps normalize breathing. Recent research has shown that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) exhibited improvements in sleepiness and depressive and anxiety symptoms after three years of CPAP use. Another study found that patients with OSA and a history of cardiovascular disease treated with CPAP therapy reported 20% higher levels of moderate physical activity compared with non-CPAP users, with these patients also more likely to exercise at levels meeting clinical recommendations.
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