I think it's safe to say that everyone looks forward to a good night sleep. But for people with sleep apnea getting enough rest can be next to impossible. Sleep apnea effects an estimated 18 million Americans but this sleep disorder is not just an adult issue.
A mothers intuition can always tell when something isn't right and Karen Payne says it was easy to notice her two kids just didn't seem to be themselves.
"Elizabeth was having trouble with her asthma and breathing and Bailey was having trouble and just seemed like he wasn't resting and things just didn't seem right when he would sleep." Said Karen Payne.
Karen knew a lack of sleep could be due to any number of reasons. But she was surprised when the doctor suggested it could be obstructive sleep apnea.
"I told her there's no way they are little kids that's something that happens to older people or the elderly, not kids" Said Karen Payne.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a blockage of the airway that causes several pauses in breathing throughout the night. Karen wanted an answer, so Bailey and Elizabeth got checked out by pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Will Veloira.
"Sleep problems are common in children and prompt evaluation and management can prevent further complications." Said Dr. Veloira.
So both kids were enrolled in sleep studies.
"The wires made it a little awkward to sleep couldn't really turn much I was afraid I was going to knock something loose but you get used to it after little while." Said Bailey Payne.
For many people doing a sleep study they might find it hard to sleep being in a new location, being hooked up to different machines, or the camera in the corner. But technologist Donna Fey says she watches her computer screen more closely than the camera as the wires and machines constantly send back information.
Avera St. Luke's has been doing pediatric sleep studies since 2012. Just like adults, kids can have plenty of trouble staying asleep.
"Every time they have one of those events that Donna showed you there are oxygen saturations and drops in heart rate so that's having an effect on your brain and your heart." Said sleep lab manager Julie Alfaro.
In a normal night's rest you are supposed to go through 5 sleep cycles. In Bailey and Elizabeth's case, they aren't cycling and they're bodies aren't relaxing.
"They're running a marathon basically throughout the night getting very minimal good resting sleep." Said Alfaro.
That has since changed. After their sleep apnea diagnosis, both Bailey and Elizabeth now sleep with a CPAP machine. This makes sure their airway is open and they are able to truly rest.
"Just as soon as they come downstairs you can tell a difference I mean they just sleep better they have a better day they're not near as ornery." Said Karen Payne.
"It just makes a world of difference when you wake up you're not so tired or rundown and a little more apt to just get up and go." Said Bailey Payne.
So take it from the Payne's if your child has trouble sleeping, snoring, or is sleepy throughout the day; it's probably time to get checked out.
Avera St. Luke's is the only place to offer pediatric sleep studies in the northeast region. Before, families would have to travel to Sioux Falls or Fargo. For more information about pediatric sleep studies just call 877-AT-AVERA.