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Questions Parents Ask Our Sleep Center Staff

Questions Parents Ask Our Sleep Center Staff

The following questions are routinely asked of the Sleep Center staff at our Evansville, Indiana Sleep Disorders Center.

Why does my child need a sleep study?

A sleep study or polysomnogram is a recording that includes measurements used to identify different sleep problems. Sleep is not a simple process. Many parts of the brain control our sleep and influence different stages of sleep. These levels or stages of sleep include drowsiness, light sleep, deep sleep, and dream sleep. It is possible to identify which stage of sleep a person is in by measuring different activities of the brain and body. During sleep testing the activities that go on in the body during sleep (brain waves, muscle movements, eye movements, breathing through your mouth and nose, snoring, heart rate, and leg movements) are monitored by small metal discs called sensors.

How is sleep tested and measured?

The activities that go on in the body during sleep such as brain waves, muscle movements, eye movements, breathing through your mouth and nose, snoring, heart rate, and leg movements are monitored by small metal discs (called sensors). These discs are applied to your child’s head and skin with a paste-like adhesive. Flexible elastic belts around the chest and abdomen measure breathing. The level of oxygen in the blood and heart rate are monitored by a clip on a finger. While your child is sleeping the technician will monitor and measure important body functions from a nearby room. The sleep may be videotaped for later review for any abnormalities observed during the study.  The sleep technician will let you know if videotaping is done. None of these devices should be painful and are designed to be as comfortable as possible. You may view how the sleep equipment is connected at our internet web site

What happens when we arrive for the sleep study?

When you and your child arrive at the Sleep Center registration desk a sleep technician will greet you and confirm your address and insurance information. You will be taken to the pediatric sleep room.  The sleep technician will apply the sensors for the study and begin recording your child during sleep.

How can my child sleep in a strange room with these sensors on?

A motel like room is designed for you and your child’s comfort.  Cribs are used for infants. The sleep technician and sleep recording equipment are nearby to monitor your child and to record sleeping. The sensor wires are gathered together and secured to allow rolling over and changing positions. The sensors may feel strange at first, but should not interfere with falling asleep. See a video of the sleep equipment connection utilized at our Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center.  We also provide photos of a pediatric patient hook up in our Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

What should I bring to the sleep center?

No Food Service is available at night during the study, therefore please feed your child before coming to the sleep center. The sleep center is an outpatient area that does not have personal supplies available, such as diapers or formula. Your child should wear or bring pajamas. Bring medications in original containers needed during the time of the study. To make your child comfortable, please bring comfort items like a blanket or soft toy that your child uses at home in bed.

When will I find out the results of the sleep study and what the results mean?

The sleep study analysis and interpretation are a complex process. Specially trained sleep technologists process or “score” the large amount of data recorded during the sleep study. The data are interpreted by a sleep specialist doctor and recommendations for treatment are faxed to the ordering doctor. Please call the office of your child’s doctor’s that ordered the sleep study for the test results 10 days after the study. 

© 2014 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000