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sleep study frequently asked questions

what to expect from the sleep study

The sleep center team at Dayton Children's is made up of specialists who are trained and experienced in caring for children with suspected sleep disorders, or sleep-disordered breathing. Your child is scheduled for a sleep study in the sleep center. Before your appointment, please familiarize yourself with the following information.

Sleep study

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What to expect during a sleep study and how to prepare.


what is a sleep study?

A sleep study is a test that monitors your child while he or she sleeps. During the night, a number of things are recorded. These include breathing patterns, heart rate, oxygen levels, body movements and brain waves. Brain waves are used to determine how deep your child is sleeping (depth of sleep). Sleep tests are designed just for your child, depending on his or her history and what your doctor recommends.

what should I do to get ready for the sleep study?

Bring completed sleep log sheets and the medical history questionnaire, if you have not already submitted them to the sleep department.

  • The sleep log is an important tool to track your child’s sleeping pattern and will give the provider an idea of their sleeping habits.
  • If your child uses a CPAP/Bilevel machine, please bring the child's machine and accessories to the sleep lab appointment.
  • Let us know if your child is allergic to tape, latex or any medicine.
  •  Your child should follow normal daily activities and nap schedules.
  •  Make sure your child eats dinner before coming to the sleep study.
  •  Avoid foods containing caffeine (chocolate, sugar, certain soft drinks, tea, coffee, etc.) for the entire day of the test.
  • If your child usually eats a snack in the evening before going to bed, you may bring a light snack (as long as it doesn’t contain sugar or caffeine).
  • Please have your child take a bath and wash and dry their hair before the test.
  • Avoid skin lotions and hair oils so that the monitor leads will stay in place during the test.
  • Remove fingernail polish and acrylic nails.

what should I bring for my child's sleep study stay?

One parent or caregiver must accompany all children under 18 years of age and must stay overnight with the patient. The technologist team will expect the assistance of a parent/guardian during the night.

  • You will be requested to have your child dress in his/her pajamas (two-piece without feet). Nightgowns and one-piece pajama sets are not acceptable attire. If you have questions regarding proper sleepwear, please check in with the lab staff prior to the child's visit.
  • You may bring the child's books, toys, a favorite stuffed animal, a special pillow and/or blanket, a white noise device or a fan.
  • You should bring your child's medications or special food needed during his/her stay in the clinic, such as milk bottles. The lab does not provide any of these items. A refrigerator for medications only is available upon request. A cooler bag with ice packs can be provided for milk storage overnight.
  • You must bring your child's personal toiletries (diapers, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, shampoo, etc.), and a change of clothes for the next day. The lab provides towels and bedding, and there is a bathroom and shower available for use in the lab.
  • Please leave all valuables at home. The sleep lab is not responsible for any personal items lost.
  • Only one parent or guardian is permitted to come with their child for the sleep study.
  • No siblings are permitted to stay with the patient overnight.

where do I go for the sleep study?

If you're coming to the main hospital, you can park in the visitor parking garage for free. Then, come in the main entrance and go to reception area 1A. Tell admitting (1A) you are here for a sleep study. They will check you in and direct you to the sleep lab on the lower level.

If you're going to the south campus, park by the left side of the building and enter through the specialty care center. Go up the elevator or stairs to the second floor. There will be signage for the sleep lab to the left. The sleep technician will check you in upon entry to the sleep lab.

what should parents or caregivers expect when having their child's sleep studied?

A technologist will greet you and your child in the waiting area of the lab.

  • We will apply electrodes and sensors with the opportunity for frequent breaks. Your child may watch television or use electronics until the hook-up is complete. 
  • TVs are in every room but will be turned off at the end of hook up, when the sleep study begins.
  • We expect the parents or caregivers to be active participants during the child's hook-up procedure and remain with the child (under age 18) for the duration of the sleep study. A parent bed is located next to the patient's bed in every room.
  • We will attempt to adhere to your child's usual bedtime, as much as possible.
  • Your child will be in a monitored environment, including audio/video recording, upon arrival to the room and during the testing procedure; under the care of skilled technologists.

how can my child sleep with all of these things on them?

Most children sleep well in the lab. They may be uneasy about the hook-up, depending on their age, but our experienced technologists will work to reassure them. Some children experience temporary discomfort associated with the small tube placed under the nose, similar to an oxygen cannula. All the monitoring devices are held in place by elastic straps, hypoallergenic tape or skin-safe adhesives. The body sensors allow the child to turn and move during sleep. Having a parent with the child during the sleep test and overnight stay makes them feel comfortable.

What do I do if I have a question or need to reschedule or cancel the sleep study?

Call 937-641-5004 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Please provide us at least 24-hours notice with rescheduling or cancellation requests. Please contact us if your child is having any signs of illness prior to arriving for your sleep study.

contact us request an appointment

The sleep center welcomes phone calls to 937- 641-5004 during our normal business hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday.

A physician referral is necessary prior to the child’s first outpatient visit. All follow up appointments will be made during your clinic visit or by calling 937-641-5004.