What is a Sleep Study?

imageA sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, is a test that evaluates the patient’s breathing, heartbeat, leg and arm movements, oxygen levels and brainwaves while they sleep.

According to Dr. Sonia Smith, owner and practitioner of Emerald Coast Pediatric Sleep Consultants, LLC, sleep studies are an important tool used to help identify, diagnose and develop a treatment plan for children experiencing problems sleeping.

Emerald Coast Pediatric Sleep Consultants recommends children who snore loudly, children who are restless and children who do not seem well-rested after sleeping to consider participating in a sleep study. Children with behavior or learning problems are also candidates for the study.

Sleep studies are painless and are conducted in a sleep lab. “Our sleep lab resembles a child’s bedroom, helping the patient to feel relaxed and comfortable,” Dr. Smith said.  “I recommend sleep studies because they are important tools to help correctly diagnose sleeping problems in children. Sometimes we find problems on a sleep study that we were not anticipating, which allows us to personalize your child’s care and develop treatments that are specific to their individual problems.”

Once your child arrives at the sleep lab, usually around seven or eight in the evening, the sleep staff will assist the child in getting settled for the night. The study begins by attaching wires to the child’s head, face, arms and legs. These wires feed information to the control room. While placing the wires, the child may watch TV or play games. After the wires are secured, it is time for bed.  Parents have the opportunity to sleep in the room with their child during the study. The study concludes the following morning and the child is able to go home.

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