MARA’s Question: My 13 year old son is a VERY deep sleeper. He is overly tired during the day. Its not uncommon for him to sleep 8-9 hours a night and also take a 2 hour nap after school. He is also a bedwetter. What would you recommend for us? Should I take him to a sleep clinic? How and where can I learn about behavioral modification. Any advise would be appreciated beyond measure. Thank you.

Dear Mara,

Sleep Apnea may be the problem but sleeping 8-9 hours is not that abnormal for his age. Eneuresis is a major issue I am sure. Sleep Apnea can lead to behavioral disorders and ADD and ADHD.  There are other disorders like narcolepsy but they usually have an onset at a later age.

If apnea or UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome) vexists it is essential that it be treated ASAP.

I would suggest taking him to a pediatric sleep Specialist. This is not normal and it can be multiple problems.
I normally would send to Dr Alex Golbin at Sleep and Behavioral Medicine in my area. Dr Golbin began in medicine as pediatric cardiologist and was at University of Chicago during the birth of the field of sleep medicine. Some of his research centered on a device he invented to help bed wetter which can be do to very deep sleep.

He spent 25 years as head of child psychiatry at Cook County Hospital (famous from E.R. TV show)
He is also a neurologist and board certified in sleep and hypnosis and does amazing research. He wrote the first book ever published on Children’s Sleep and the first textbook on sleep psychiatry. More important is he is a very good man.

I know you are not local but I will forward this e-mail to Alex as well.

If it was my son there is no question I would take him to see Dr Golbin even if travel was involved.

Ira L Shapira DDS, D,ABDSM, D,AAPM, FICCMO
Chair, Alliance of TMD Organizations
Diplomat, American Academy of Pain Management
Diplomat, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
Regent & Fellow, International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics
Board Eligible, American Academy of CranioFacial Pain
Dental Section Editor, Sleep & Health Journal
Member, American Equilibration Society
Member, Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences
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