How are pediatric sleep disorders treated?

Updated: Oct 09, 2018
  • Author: Sufen Chiu, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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This section primarily reviews forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that are effective in treating a broad range of childhood behavioral sleep problems. Treatment modalities can be adapted easily to the youth’s developmental level and should consider the role of sleep hygiene in all sleep problems. The effectiveness of CBT for childhood sleep disorders has been well demonstrated in controlled studies and clinical case reports.

Pharmacologic treatments of sleep disorders are not supported by adequate and significant empiric data. Given the lack of supporting data, it is advisable to employ behavioral and cognitive strategies initially in most cases. Because of the paucity of adequate empirical studies, pharmacotherapy data are limited to treatment in select sleep disorders.

Adenotonsillectomy may be indicated for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Weight loss is recommended for patients with obesity and OSAS.

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