What tests are used to diagnose sleep disorders?
After a complete history and physical exam, your health care provider may ask you to keep a sleep diary or sleep log to help diagnose sleep phase problems and insomnia.
A sleep study may also be ordered. This is an overnight procedure in the Sleep Lab at Children's Hospital Colorado. This study is called a polysomnogram, and records different sleep stages to see if there are problems in a child’s sleep and breathing.
The polysomnogram will monitor a child’s brain waves, heart rate, breathing and muscle activity. This is done with the help of sensors that are placed on a child’s head, chin, legs, chest and near the eyes. The sensors are secured to the skin with gels, tape or special mesh netting. Placing the sensors on your child is pain-free.
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. When your child is scheduled for a sleep study, you will receive a packet of information detailing the study about 2 weeks prior.
How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?
There are dozens of causes for excessive sleepiness, sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia and movement problems during sleep. The experts at Children’s Colorado have been specially trained in childhood sleep disorders and provide advice and consultation to your pediatrician when sleep conditions are problematic.
When you see a provider at Children’s Colorado about a sleep disorder, he or she will give your child a physical exam and ask you about your child’s sleeping patterns, medical history, and symptoms. Based on this information, the provider may order further testing or consult with our team of multidisciplinary experts in sleep, breathing and behavior.