Sleep is very important for the health of children, but what if they're
struggling to rest through the night? Conditions ranging from sleep apnea
to night terrors raise a lot of questions, and East Tennessee Children's
Hospital is working to find answers as the only pediatric sleep center
in the region designed just for children. A sleep study is known as a
polysomnogram, a painless process involves an overnight stay at Children's
Sleep Medicine Center. The sleep study can help determine whether lifestyle,
a health complication or a clinical disorder is responsible for lack of sleep.
Pediatric sleep medicine is a relatively new field for children and it's
rapidly changing, but East Tennessee Children's Hospital has the best
resources to help children get a good night's sleep. A child's
medical and emotional needs are unique, and this is especially true when
dealing with sleep issues. Sleep studies involve lots of tape and wire,
but no needles. So, we can comfort children and parents that there is
nothing to fear. Our entire staff, from the physicians and nurses to all
technicians, are experts in caring for children.
Your child's primary care physician or pediatrician can schedule a
sleep study directly with us or you can schedule an appointment for an
evaluation in our pediatric sleep center. For more information call the
Sleep Medicine Center at 865-541-8478.
Can Your Child Benefit from a Sleep Study?
Sleep disorders can be found in approximately one out of every five children.
While it might seem more bothersome to parents than problematic, a sleep
disorder could be an underlying reason for a serious health issue such
as hyperactivity, learning disability or even certain types of heart disease.
The sleep conditions we treat include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (difficulty breathing while asleep, blockage of airflow)
- Central sleep apnea
- Idiopathic hypersomnia
- Behavioral insomnia of childhood
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- Sleep talking
- Sleep walking
- Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
- REM behavior disorder
- Restless leg syndrome
- Nocturnal enuresis
Here are some of the many signs that might tell parents a child could benefit
from a sleep study:
- Sleep disorders, including: snoring, noisy breathing, sleeping with open
mouth, difficulty breathing
- Frequent awakenings during the night
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Daytime emotional and behavioral problems
- Excessive sleepiness during the daytime
- Change in school performance
No matter what the problem is with your child's sleep, the Sleep Medicine
Center can evaluate the situation and make treatment recommendations that
are best for your child.
Sleep Test Preparations
Follow these steps to prepare for your child's sleep study at Children's
- Your child should not have caffeine or chocolate after 11 a.m.
- No afternoon naps after 2 p.m. if your child is over the age of 5.
- Bring any formula, diapers or pacifiers your baby may need overnight. Sleep
wear should be worn or brought from home.
- Make sure your child is bathed and his hair is washed before arrival.
- Your child should take his usual medicines as directed throughout the evening.
If your child is having a CPAP or BiPAP study, bring the mask and headgear
that you previously received from your doctor.
- Bring your child's pillow, favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
- Eat before arriving at the Sleep Center. You may bring snacks and drinks with you.
- Arrive at the Sleep Center by 7:30 p.m.
- We can only accommodate one parent per patient. If your child needs both
parents to stay with him, call our office 24 hours prior to the study.
- If your child is sick the day of the study, call before the appointment
- If needed, arrange for transportation to pick up by 6:30 a.m.
The test will begin close to your child's bedtime and end between
5:30 and 6 a.m. the next morning. Technicians will not give you the results
of your child's test. If you have any other questions regarding your
child's sleep study, please call the Sleep Medicine Center at 865-541-8478.