Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center
If your child suffers from a sleep disorder, he or she may be admitted for a one-night sleep study. Specially trained, experienced and board-certified pediatric sleep specialists conduct sleep studies on children as young as infants. We help diagnose and treat children with a variety of sleep disorders including:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
- Congenital hypoventilation syndrome
- Night terrors
- Nocturnal seizures
How a Sleep Study Works
A sleep study is conducted using electrodes placed on your child using either sticky tape or paste. A sleep technician will apply these small round metal discs to your child’s scalp, on both sides of your child's head, and under your child's chin. These electrodes report information that can help us evaluate the quality of your child’s sleep, which helps in diagnosing the cause of their trouble sleeping. The session is also videotaped to provide additional insight.
The study will monitor and record the following:
- Brain waves - By measuring your child's brain waves it is possible to determine what stage of sleep your child is in. Stages of sleep include light sleep, deep sleep, and the type of sleep that you dream in, also known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
- Eye movements - By measuring your child's eye movements it is possible to determine if your child's eyes are moving quickly or slowly. Eye movements are also used to determine what stage of sleep your child is in.
- Muscle Tone - By measuring your child's muscle tone it is possible to determine how relaxed your child's muscles are.
- Heart Rate - Your child's heart rate will be monitored during the entire sleep study using an EKG (electrocardiogram) monitor. The EKG leads are big stickers with a snap on the front side. The EKG cables are snapped onto the EKG cables.
- Breathing Movements - Two stretchy elastic bands/belts are placed around your child's chest and abdomen. These stretchy belts look very similar to wide elastic that can be found in a fabric/craft store. These stretchy belts measure your child's breathing movements. When your child is breathing normally their chest and abdomen move in and out together.
- Airflow - A sensor is placed under your child's nose that measures airflow. This sensor is called a capnograph. The sensor is very similar to a nasal cannula that people wear when they need oxygen. During the sleep study we are not giving your child extra oxygen or air to breathe. Instead we are measuring what your child is breathing out (their carbon dioxide levels). If the child is small or is an infant, we may use a transcutaneous monitor to measure the carbon dioxide levels. This monitor will stick directly to your child’s skin. This is not painful at all.
- Oxygen Levels -A sleep technician will place an oxygen sensor on your child's toe or finger that measures blood oxygen levels. This sensor is very similar to wearing a Band-Aid. This sensor has a tiny red light.
- Arm and Leg Movements - It is also important to monitor your child's arm and leg movements. We can measure your child's arm and leg movements using an EMG (electromyography) monitor. These EMG leads are very similar to the EKG leads. The EMG leads are big stickers with a snap on the front side. The EMG cables are snapped onto the EMG cables.