Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Pediatric Sleep Medicine

How to Prepare Your Child for the Sleep Study 

What to expect from your child's sleep study
At South Nassau’s Center for Sleep Medicine, we utilize the same tests used to diagnose and rule out sleep disorders in adults for children. However, because children are more likely to displace sensors during the night, we prefer to use attended studies rather than home monitoring.

A parent or guardian must accompany a child who spends the night at the Center for Sleep Medicine; they will stay in the same room as the child, to make them more comfortable.

  • Do not give your child any food or drinks that have caffeine (soda, chocolate, tea, coffee).
  • Do not apply any hair spray, gels or oil to your child's hair. Your child's hair will need to be clean and dry.
  • Do not apply lotions or creams to your child's skin.
  • Pack an overnight bag for yourself and your child.
  • Arrive at the Center at the instructed time (usually around 8:00pm)
  • Parents/guardians should wear comfortable clothing.

What should I bring for my child's stay in the sleep center?

  • Have your child dress in his/her pajamas (two-piece, without feet). Nightgowns and one-piece pajama sets are not acceptable attire. If you have questions regarding proper sleepwear, please call prior to arrival
  • Any special blanket, stuffed animal, pillow, or other special item that your child usually sleeps with, or that will help your child feel "at home”. You should bring something for the child to read or to work on during non-sleep periods
  • Bring your child's medications or special food needed during his/her stay in the Center. The Center does not provide these items
  • You must bring your child's personal toiletries (diapers, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, etc.), and a change of clothes for the next day. The Center provides towels and bedding, and a shower is available
  • Please leave all valuables at home
  • One parent or guardian must accompany all minors and must stay overnight with the patient. The sleep technologist will expect the assistance of a parent/guardian during the night; thus, it is critical for the adult to be in the room with the child
  • Accommodations are available in each room for one adult attending to the child during the night.
  • Please do not bring animals, unless medically authorized.
  • Please bring a list of medications your child is currently taking.
  • If your child uses a CPAP/Bilevel machine, please do not bring the child's machine or accessories unless requested by a sleep physician.

Where do we go when we arrive?
Parking is on your right or in the back of the building upon entering the lot (if entering off of Broadway). Please feel free to park your car in our lot overnight free of charge. The entrance is located at the front of the building, which faces Broadway. Upon your arrival, please ring the doorbell, which is to the right of the door, and a sleep technologist will let you in.

What to expect throughout the study
Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by the sleep technologist. The technologist will show you to your room; each room is a private room with its own queen bed, bathroom and television. At this time, the technologist will review what will happen during the study and answer any questions. You will be asked to fill out some paperwork.

The technologist will apply electrodes and sensors. These sensors will be monitoring brain waves, heart rate, breathing, leg movements during sleep.  During this time your child may watch television. The child and guardian will then go to sleep for the night. The guardian must sleep in a sleep in a separate bed, or recliner (depending on the child’s age) in the same room.
As child and guardian are sleeping, the sleep technologist will be up all night and monitors your child’s sleep through a video camera and intercom.

Throughout the night, the technologist may quietly enter the sleep study room to adjust an electrode that may have fallen off.  This is very important so that we gather as much information as possible for the doctor.

At approximately 6:00 am, the technologist will awaken your child and begin to carefully remove the sensors from the child. This process will take about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is removed and some paperwork is completed, you and your child are free to go!

A few days following the sleep study, a board-certified pediatric sleep physician will review the information collected during the study to report on how your child slept.

The report will be sent to your child’s physician to review the findings and discuss next steps.

We perform sleep studies at the South Nassau Center for Sleep Medicine 7 nights a week, for children over 2 years old.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a polysomnogram?
A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is a test that measures body functions during sleep. Performing a sleep study on a child is exactly the same as conducting a study on an adult. During the night of study, the child will sleep at our lab and be monitored by sleep technologists.

Each test will vary depending on the individual case, but some measurements taken may include:

  • Brain waves (EEG) - (surface electrodes on the child's scalp)
  • Breathing (Nasal/Oral) - (sensors placed onto the skin near the child's nose and mouth)
  • Breathing (Respiratory) - (small, elastic bands placed around the child's chest and abdomen or surface electrodes placed on the child's ribcage)
  • Blood Oxygen Levels (SpO2) - (small probe attached to the child's finger; does not involve taking blood samples from the child's veins)
  • Eye movements (EOG) - (surface electrodes next to the child's eyes)
  • Heart rate (ECG) - (surface electrodes on the child's chest)
  • Limb movements (EMG) - (surface electrodes on the child's lower legs)
  • Muscle movements (EMG) - (surface electrodes on and under the child's chin)
  • Video Recording - (the child's body movements will be recorded)

How will my child sleep with all of these things on them?
Most children will sleep well throughout their stay in the center. Some are concerned with the sensors and wires, but our experienced sleep technologists work with the patients and guardians to reassure them and make them comfortable throughout the process. The body sensors are applied so that your child is able to move and turn throughout the night. The sleep technologist will communicate with you and your child to ensure that your child is comfortable so that testing goes smoothly. Having a guardian/parent present helps keep the child at ease throughout this process and is an essential part to the success of the study.

Will the sensor devices cause discomfort?
No. Sometimes in preparing the sites for sensor application, there are mild temporary irritations; please inform us if your child has any known sensitivity to particular tapes or if he or she has a latex allergy.

What should I expect regarding meal service?
The South Nassau Center for Sleep Medicine is an outpatient facility; meal service is not provided, except for patients scheduled for daytime nap testing (MSLT or MWT). Please have your child eat dinner prior to his or her scheduled appointment. Please bring snacks and drinks your child likes, if so desired; refreshments are also available.

What are some of the things I should keep in mind during my visit at the sleep clinic?
The lab opens at 8 p.m. for overnight studies. It is important that your child arrive on time. If you need to cancel your child's overnight sleep appointment, please call before 48 hours before if possible. If you are running late after our office closes, please call 1-800-753-3779 Option 5 if it is after 5:00 p.m. to inform us of the situation.  

No smoking is allowed anywhere on the premises.

Contact Us
South Nassau Center for Sleep Medicine
1420 Broadway
Hewlett, NY 11557
(516) 374-8830
centerforsleep@snch.org

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