Toddler girl never sleeps more than 3 hours straight, mysterious insomnia under investigation

By on Feb 27, 2013 in Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Science, United States Comments

A toddler girl has never slept for more than 3 hours straight since she was born, 18 months ago. The poor girl, Haley Rivera, was tested at Weill-Cornell Pediatric Sleep Center and Komansky Center for Children’s Health at the New York-Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan for a mysterious case of insomnia.

Haley Rivera girl never sleeps more than 3 hours

Jennifer Stella and her daughter Haley Rivera, the girl
who never sleeps more than 3 hours straight

Image Credit: Pearl Gabel/New York Daily News

As noted at the New York Daily News on Sunday, February 24, 2013, Haley Rivera has a serious problem of getting a sweet full night sleep. Her parents, Edgar Rivera and Jennifer Stella, are now worried for their precious child, in addition to their own struggle to get enough good sleep for watching over their daughter.

“One night when she was maybe 2 weeks old, it was 3 o’clock in the morning, and she had not slept at all. What newborn doesn’t sleep most of the day? I was so overwhelmed.” Jennifer Stella told the paper. She and her husband Edgar, an ambulette driver, live in Bronx, New York City. They also have two sons, 12 and 7.

Stella noted that as months went by, she noticed that her daughter was snoring, and sometimes wakes up and gasps for air. She regularly brings Haley to newly-opened Pediatric Sleep Lab of the Weill-Cornell Pediatric Sleep Center, where doctors monitor her sleep, which usually starts at 7 p.m.

“The most important message I want to give to parents is snoring isn’t just a funny noise, it’s serious if persistent. About 10% of children snore, but if it is loud and happens more than three times a week, sleep apnea may be the culprit.” Pediatric pulmonologist and sleep physician Dr. Haviva Veler said.

In addition, Dr. Veler said that Haley‘s sleep problem reveals a mild case of sleep apnea, with episodes happening 1.8 times every hour. Nevertheless, Haley was observed to have some behavioral problems in getting a good sleep, and is not associated with any medical issue.

Dr. Veler, who is also the director of Weill Cornell’s Pediatric Sleep Center at New York-Presbyterian’s Komansky Center for Children’s Health, suggested to the Rivera family to place a lot of pacifiers around Haley‘s crib. Once she gets awake, she can easily find one pacifier to help her go back to sleep again.

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