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A sleep study is a procedure that is performed overnight in the Sleep Lab at Children's Hospital Colorado. This study is called a polysomnogram, and records different sleep stages and any detected problems in your child’s sleep and breathing.
The information below helps you understand what to expect and also answers some frequently asked questions.
The hook-up process can take between 1-1 1/2 hours. During the process, you may read bedtimes stories or perhaps watch a video. "Lights Out" designates bedtime when all entertainment ends and the sleep recording begins.
Parents are welcome to bring their child into the Sleep Lab prior to their study date for a tour and description. Please contact the Sleep Lab at 720-777-4539 to set a time to stop by and get a tour of the facility.
One parent or legal guardian must be present for the entire study. You may step out of the lab briefly to take a walk or get a snack, but please do not leave the hospital building. Please make arrangements for additional adults and siblings to remain at home. If you are coming from out of town, we can provide a list of area hotels.
The parent or guardian will sleep in the same room as their child. Each room has a recliner and space for the parent to spend the night. Be sure to bring comfortable clothes for yourself, in addition to the pajamas you brought for your child.
No, the respiratory therapist(s) is in the control room all night, monitoring your child's sleep and the sleep of other children doing similar sleep studies. For that reason, parents are not permitted to stay up with the therapists in the control area in order to maintain patient confidentiality of the other studies in process. During the night, the therapist may be in your child’s room as necessary to adjust sensors or evaluate the child’s breathing.
No, the study will be attended by a respiratory therapist, specially trained in pediatric sleep practices. If the therapist has concerns during the study, she may call a physician or nurse practioner for consultation.
The sleep study is almost always a non-invasive study; on rare occasions, it may be necessary to obtain a small blood sample, usually by pricking a finger. If this is the case, the sleep technician will discuss it with the parent before approaching the patient.
Sometimes the sleep studies are harder on the parents than on the kids! Parents should know that although their child may cry during the set-up, they are not being harmed and the procedure is painless. There will be plenty of cuddle time after the set-up for comforting nighttime rituals.
The sleep recordings are usually finished at about 6 AM and it takes about another 1/2 hour to disconnect the sensors. You and your child should be able to leave the lab by 6:30 AM. The physician ordering the study will receive the results approximately 2 weeks after the study date. Please follow up with the ordering physician.