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Preparing Your Child Banner

Sleep Disorder Center

Child Preparation

What is a polysomnogram?

A polysomnogram (PSG) is a sleep study that allows us to see what's going on during your child's sleep.  PSG records brain waves, eye movements, muscle activity, breathing, body positions, heartbeat, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, and leg movements.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be diagnosed from a PSG. OSA occurs when the child's airway is partially or fully blocked during sleep, and the child may stop breathing.  If not treated, OSA may cause slow growth, bedwetting, attention problems, behavior problems, poor school performance and heart disease.  Timely diagnosis is important.

Preparing Your Child for a Sleep Study

How to Prepare Your Child

In the days before the test, make sure your child continues on their regular sleep habits.  Stop all caffeine for 24 hours before the test. Do not give you child a nap on the day of the test.  Bath your child before going to the sleep lab. Don't use conditioner, hair spray, body lotions or oils.  These can interfere with the sleep results of the test.

Talk with your child before the sleep study, and keep it simple. A technician will apply electrodes to your child's head, face, and legs. This will help them monitor brain activity and muscle movements during sleep.  The technician will clean your child's skin with soap, dry it off, and then apply the electrodes with some cream or gel.  Tape will hold the electrodes in place.

There will be a sensor on your child's finger or toe to monitor oxygen levels.  A belt will be worn around their stomach and chest to monitor breathing during the study.

What to Bring

Bring all of your regular nighttime supplies with you to the sleep lab.  Be sure to include two-piece pajamas and any medications your child may be on. If your child is young, remember to bring diapers, wipes, and a Teddy bear or blanket if one is used at home.

Make it Special

A parent will need to stay the night with their child. You are welcome to bring a video and some bedtime books to share with your child. Once the sensors are applied you and your child may enjoy a snack and a book or video before the lights are turned off.

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