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Sleep Medicine and Research Center

Pediatric Sleep Services

When a child sleeps poorly, the health of the entire family is affected. Children with sleep problems are often:

  • irritable
  • have shortened attention spans
  • have trouble separating from their parents

All of which can have a negative impact on parents and siblings. Don't let your child's sleep problems become a nightmare for the whole family. If your child has sleep problems that persist for more than a few nights, it's time to seek help. The first step is to talk with your child's pediatrician, who may refer you to the center.

The Sleep Medicine and Research Center evaluates children for a variety of sleep disturbances. In some cases, children snore or breathe noisily while sleeping. Our certified sleep specialists can help you determine if the sleep problem is medical or behavioral in nature.

In other cases, parents wish to change children's undesirable bedtime or sleep habits, including stalling, frequent nighttime awakenings and the inability to fall asleep alone. Your first step will be to meet with our pediatric sleep nurse, Nancy Birkenmeier, BSN, RN, who will gather your child's medical history and detailed sleep history. You will also discuss specific goals related to your child's sleep.

There are almost always several options for addressing a child's sleep issues. The center supports the use of a family bed or co-sleeping arrangement when the parent desires it. Safety precautions for such an arrangement will be outlined in detail. We will create a plan tailored to your family and provide you with written instructions at the end of the consultation. We will follow up with phone calls as needed.

If your child’s sleep issues are clinical and not behavioral, our board-certified physicians may suggest a  sleep study. We have a designated pediatric bedroom, and our technical staff is skilled at making both parents and children comfortable with this painless procedure. Shalini Paruthi, MD, is experienced in pediatric care and works closely with families to make sure they are properly addressing any clinical sleep issues with the appropriate treatment options.

The Sleep Medicine and Research Center can also work with parents to address issues related to nightmares, sleep terrors, sleepwalking, bed-wetting and other abnormal occurrences during sleep.

If you live outside of the St. Louis and St. Charles area, phone consultations are available!
Please call the main Sleep Medicine and Research Center Office at 314-205-6030 to schedule a time to talk to our pediatric sleep nurse.

Sleep Issues in the Young Child Classes
Sleep Issues in the
Young Child Classes

Pediatric Sleep Handouts
Here are some pediatric sleep handouts that you might find useful. Please feel free to use the handouts, but we encourage you to bring your child in for an evaluation if you suspect any sleep issues.