RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- For growing children, getting a good night's sleep is imperative to developing young healthy lifestyle habits.
That's why The Valley Hospital has expanded its Pediatric Sleep Disorders and Apnea Center to offer Behavioral Sleep Coaching for children ranging from newborns to teens.
“Sleep coaching utilizes proven approaches to build healthy sleep habits so that children can get a better night’s sleep,” said Dr. Stephanie Zandieh, director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Valley. “Whether we are helping a child overcome his fear of the dark or teaching a toddler to fall asleep without her parents in the room, we work collaboratively with patients and their families to develop treatment plans that are uniquely suited to each child’s specific needs.”
Studies show that as many as 25 to 40 percent of children experience sleep difficulties. If left untreated, these sleep problems can become chronic and lead to difficulties with learning, memory and concentration, as well as create negative parent-child dynamics.
“Proper sleep is essential to every child’s growth and development,” said Kim Cahill, R.N., who leads the Behavioral Sleep Coaching program. “Through face-to-face meetings and regular follow-up, we identify and eliminate the roadblocks that interfere with quality sleep, so that a child can feel great, have fun, learn more and perform his or her best.”
Fortunately, many sleep problems can be resolved through Behavioral Sleep Coaching. Valley’s team works with patients and their families to systematically introduce behavioral changes, such as developing a consistent sleep schedule and a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Although each plan of care is unique, treatment can generally be completed in two to four sessions.
During an initial consultation, Zandieh and Cahill meet with patients and their families to obtain a complete medical and sleep history and perform a physical exam. If there are medical symptoms, such as snoring, increased body movements during sleep or excessive daytime sleepiness that are contributing to a child’s sleep problems, the child may first need specific medical treatment.
Patients can be referred to the Pediatric Sleep Disorders and Apnea Center by their pediatrician or other physicians, or parents may call directly to make an appointment.
For more information about The Valley Hospital Pediatric Sleep Disorders and Apnea Center, click here or call 201-447-8152.