FAQ on Sleep Studies for Children

Check out answers to some of the frequently asked questions our staff hears about sleep studies for children. And feel free to call us at 847-674-3600 if you have your own questions about sleep medicine, how our center operates or treatment options.

1. When should my child visit a sleep specialist?
When your child has had trouble sleeping for more than a month or if your child is tired during the day for unknown reasons, It’s time to see a doctor specially trained in sleep disorders. If your child has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it is important to have the cause evaluated in a sleep lab. You and your pediatrician should not assume that he or she simply has “insomnia”. Recent studies show that a high percentage (30-50%) of people diagnosed with insomnia actually have another sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. Also, it is very important to have the child’s nocturnal breathing pattern evaluated before starting sleeping agents, because they may depress the respiratory drive.

2. Are sleep physicians covered by insurance?
Yes. Medicare and most private health insurance companies cover office visits, sleep studies and CPAP services. See Insurance Info for a list of insurance plans that we work with.
3. Do you need a referral?
If you have Medicare or a PPO, you do not need a referral. However, HMO’s usually require a referral. Please contact your primary care physician or pediatrician and have them initiate a referral from your insurance company.
4. What are some of the consequences of sleep disorders if left untreated?
  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
  • Cognitive impairment and poor school performance
  • Anxiety, depression, memory loss
  • Short stature
  • Weight gain or obesity
5. Does my child have to have an office visit before a sleep study?
Usually that is the best medicine. Our sleep medicine doctors will perform an extensive review of your child’s medical history with a special focus on sleep and a physical exam aimed at uncovering common causes of sleep disruption. The physician will evaluate your child for one of the more than 80 sleep disorders that are currently known. Some sleep disorders may be treated without requiring a sleep study, while others require a sleep study to determine which disorder he or she may have and its severity. This visit not only insures that we are providing your child with the best possible service, but it is also a requirement for the sleep center to meet the high standards of accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
6. What does a sleep study entail?
A sleep study is a non-invasive, painless evaluation of your child’s sleep. Electrodes attach with paste and monitor brain waves, rapid eye movements, breathing patterns, respiratory efforts, oxygen levels, snoring, muscle tone and leg movements, electrocardiogram and heart rate. The child or adolescent is able to move from side to side.
7. What if my child can't fall asleep?
“There’s no way I can fall asleep with all that stuff on me!” The good news is that almost everyone does, it just may take you a little longer than normal. If this is a concern, please discuss this with our physician during your appointment.
8. What if my child has to go to the bathroom a lot?
No problem. The electrodes are collected together to a central attachment that easily detaches to free you to get up and out of bed. Each room has its own full, private bathroom.
9. What if my teenager doesn't usually go to sleep until 4:00 a.m. or some other unusual time?
No fears. We are able to accommodate any sleep pattern.
10. Can I accompany my child during the sleep study?
Absolutely! We actually require children to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can stay with the patient in one of our rooms specially fitted with two beds. Check out photos of our warm, friendly center.
11. How long do we have to be at the sleep lab?
Arrival times are flexible; typically, patients arrive between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm and leave between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. Your child may need to start earlier to match their regular bedtime. Patients are usually with us for about 9 hours. We aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep study time.
12. What should I bring?
Pack for your child as if you were going to a hotel. We have basic toiletries such as soap, bodywash, shampoo and toothpaste.
13. Can we watch TV?
Yes. Each room has cable TV and a DVD player. There is also wireless internet if you or your teenager wishes to bring a laptop. Patients are free to use any of these electronic media to try to acclimate themselves to this new environment. Of course, we ask that you help guide your child to choose a relaxing activity.

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