Paediatric Sleep Study

What is a sleep study?

This is an overnight investigation of your child’s breathing, heart rate, oxygenation and movements during sleep.If necessary, it may also involve monitoring the stages of your child’s sleep.The whole procedure is completely painless.

child kissing doll

Why is this study being done?

The study is being carried out at the request of your child’s consultant. This may be a consultant ENT surgeon, a consultant paediatrician or another consultant. The study provides information on your child’s breathing, etc during sleep to help decide on the right course of treatment for your child or to help to diagnose your child’s problem.

Where does the study take place?

Your child will sleep on a paediatric ward or in the special care baby unit as appropriate. Most studies are carried out on ward 22.Parents are welcome to stay with the child. A specially trained nurse will explain the procedure to you and your child and will attach the recording equipment. If you have any problems or questions during the study do not hesitate to call for assistance.

What happens during the sleep study?

The child sleeps in normal bedclothes and can bring soft toys, teddies, etc. The study is overnight only and you can go home in the morning.

Ward corridor

Monitors will be attached over the child’s clothes, on a finger, face and/or head, as necessary. Monitors will be shown and explained to you before being attached.

  • Pulse rate via a probe attached to a finger (or foot) which also measures the oxygen
  • Chest and abdominal movements during breathing via stretch bands around the chest and abdomen. This shows if the breathing is obstructed or if the child stops breathing during sleep.
  • Airflow and snoring via a nasal cannula
  • Leg movement via a sensor on the leg (not always necessary).
  • Body position and overall movement via a video camera.
  • Sleep staging via electrodes. (Rarely necessary)

What happens to the information recorded?

All information is down loaded on to a CD via a computer to which the monitors are attached. This CD is then analysed later. The recordings generate a lot of data, which can take several days to fully analyse.

A report of the results will be sent to the consultant who requested the study and also to your GP.

Paediatric inpatient sleep study leaflet (276kb)
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