For children, sleep problems tend to get progressively worse overtime if not treated. For instance, night terrors as a toddler might lead to a child who sleepwalks in the future. There are generally two different types of sleep problems; behavioral and physiological. At this point, a sleep study would be assigned to gather additional information for a diagnosis. Parents will also spend the night in the same room but in a different bed during the study.
During an overnight or day sleep study for children, data is gathered from multiple tests to be analyzed together. This is to determine a proper diagnosis. Here’s some of the standard tests and what they record:
1. Electroencephalogram (EEG): Monitors brain activity and aids in diagnosis of possible seizure disorders
2. Electroculogram (EOG): Records eye movements and determines when the REM sleep cycle occurs
3. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): Monitors electrical activity of the heart
4. Thermo-couple and Respiratory effort: Monitors the airflow and effort to identify breathing problems such as snoring or obstructive breathing
5. Electromyogram (EMG): Measures muscle tension and aids in the diagnosis of limb movement disorders
Additional sleep tests for children with complex needs include:
1. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Titration studies: For children with sleep apnea
2. Ventilator Titration studies: For children who rely on ventilators to breathe
3. Studies for children who have Tracheostomies, which can be seen as a severe sleep apnea or following surgery
4. Oxygen Titration studies: For patients with severe lung disease
5. Specialized tests to monitor seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
6. Studies to evaluate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) during sleep
At the Alaska Sleep Clinic, specific treatment is tailored specifically to your child’s particular sleep disorder.