The Center for Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine (CSG) Physicians
Albert Ho, MD
Michael Strunc, MD

Related Health Information

A good night's sleep is critical to a child's health, happiness and success in school. When problems interrupt normal sleep patterns, it is important to identify the underlying causes.

CHKD's Center for Pediatric Sleep Medicine can provide the diagnostic and treatment services to help children and teens get the sleep they need.

At CHKD, sleep medicine physicians Albert Ho and Michael Strunc collaborate with CHKD ENT physician Cristina Baldassari to diagnose and treat simple and complex sleep disorders.

Snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring may be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, the most common and most treatable sleep disorder in children. Children with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing for brief periods during sleep, often due to a bloackage of the airway.

The Center for Pediatric Sleep Medicine sees approximately 1,400 children each year.
The Center for Pediatric Sleep Medicine sees approximately 1,400 children each year.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Restless sleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Mouth breathing while asleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Problems with school performance
  • Restlessness and hyperactivity
  • Difficulty concentrating

More conditions we treat

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Sleepwalking
  • Seizures
  • Narcolepsy
  • Circadian rhythm disorders

Exclusively for Children

CHKD's Center for Pediatric Sleep Medicine was created specifically with kids in mind. Every staff member has pediatric training and experience with conditions and issues unique to children. Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to be reassuring and comforting, with cheerful cozy sleep areas developed especially for our young patients. Kids and parents can play games, watch television, read and relax before bedtime.

A Team Approach

Our pediatric sleep experts have the additional advantage of being supported by CHKD's comprehensive newtwork of pediatric programs and specialists. This helps to ensure proper diagnosis and care when dealing with sleep problems complicated by other medical disorders such as asthma, autism, epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disease, craniofacial disorders, obesity and neuromuscular disorders.

Sleep Study

An overnight sleep study monitors breathing and brain activity during sleep and is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best tool for diagnosing sleep disorders in children. CHKD offers overnight sleep studies seven days a week at two convenient locations: our main hospital in downtown Norfolk and the CHKD Health Center at Oakbrooke in Chesapeake.

What does this test involve?

There are no needles and the test is not painful. To monitor breathing, two stretchy bands are placed around your child's chest. Two small soft tubes are placed at the opening of your child's nose to monitor the air flow in and out. Small metal discs are placed on the chest and head to measure the heart rate and brain activity. Explain to your child that "stickers" with wires will be placed on his/her head and face, and a net cap will keep these in place.

Preparing for the test

  • Make sure your child does not have any caffeine or sugar on test day.
  • Do not let your child nap on test day.
  • Eat dinner before you arrive. The main hospital cafeteria closes at 7 p.m. and Oakbrooke has no food service.
  • You may bring a snack for your child as long as it does not contain sugar, caffeine or chocolate.
  • Bring your child’s favorite bedtime comfort items such as a blanket, favorite book or stuffed animal.
  • Bring any medications that your child may need.
  • Bathe your child and wash his/her hair on the day of the test, but please do not use any lotions or oils on the skin.
  • There is a DVD player in the room so you may bring your child’s favorite video.

Arrival instructions

All sleep study appointments are scheduled for 7 p.m. For studies at CHKD’s main hospital, please park in the visitors’ garage and go to the admitting department on the first floor. A member of our staff will meet you there and take you to the sleep lab. For sleep studies at CHKD’s Health Center at Oakbrooke, please park in front of the building. Use the intercom at the front entrance to call the sleep center.

Additional information

  • We have a place for one parent to stay overnight. Most children are more comfortable knowing that a parent is close by. Please stay with your child at all times during the study.
  • You will be asked to turn off all cell phones and other devices at lights out, between 9 and 10 p.m.
  • The study will end at approximately 6 a.m. If you prefer an earlier wake-up time, please notify your technician.
  • You will get the results of the sleep study during your follow-up visit.

If you have any questions concerning the sleep study or if you are unable to keep an appointment, please call (757) 668-9466.