The Penn State Children’s Hospital Approach to Sleep Medicine

We understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. Our team of sleep specialists works with you and your child to come up with a personalized treatment plan to help your whole family get the rest you need. We treat sleep and breathing problems in newborns, children and teens.

Pediatric Specialists

Our sleep care team specializes in treating children with sleep problems. The team includes:

  • Pulmonologists (lung specialists)
  • Behavioral health pediatricians
  • Sleep psychologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Dedicated nurses and staff

Advanced Technology

We use the latest tests and technology to diagnose your child's sleep problems. During your first appointment, if we think your child may have certain sleep problems (such as sleep apnea, nocturnal events or narcolepsy), we may order more tests. These may include:

  • Sleep studies (also called a polysomnogram) to assess sleep quality. During this test, your child spends a night in our lab while monitors record brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rate and rhythm, breathing and leg movements.
  • Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) to record brain and body activity at different times during the day. It helps measure sleepiness, ability to fall asleep and the likelihood of narcolepsy.
  • Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) to record brain activity at different times during the day to check the ability to stay awake.
  • Actigraphy to record a child’s activity and rest with sensors.
  • Overnight oximetry to track heart rate and blood oxygen levels during sleep (a small monitor is clipped on the finger).

Our Experts in Pediatric Sleep Medicine Care

Why Choose Penn State Children's Hospital for Care?

Our pediatric sleep studies and consultations are conducted at the Penn State Health Sleep Research and Treatment Center, which uses the most advanced methods to study children’s sleep and breathing during the night and offers non-drug based therapies that include chronotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and imagery rehearsal therapy for nightmares. Our Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

We also work with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on:

  • Pediatric neuromuscular disorders (sleep or breathing problems related to some diseases, such as muscular dystrophy)
  • Home mechanical ventilation (breathing machines)

Conditions Treated

We provide care for:

  • Sleep apnea (short periods of not breathing during sleep)
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Circadian rhythm disorders (sleep-wake cycle problems)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Activity during sleep (sleep walking, sleep terrors, nightmares and nighttime events)
  • Apnea of prematurity (short periods of not breathing in infants)
  • Insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)
  • Restless sleep
  • Narcolepsy (trouble staying awake)

Support Groups

Support groups provide children and their families an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about the support groups offered at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

View All Support Groups

Our Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a Location Near You