Sleep Medicine Testing at CHKD

An overnight sleep study monitors breathing and brain activity during sleep and is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best tool for diagnosing sleep disorders in children. Read our Family Guide to Your Child's Overnight Sleep Study here.

What does this test involve?

There are no needles and the test is not painful. To monitor breathing, two stretchy bands are placed around your child's chest. Two small soft tubes are placed at the opening of your child's nose to monitor the air flow in and out. Small metal discs are placed on the chest and head to measure the heart rate and brain activity. Explain to your child that "stickers" with wires will be placed on his/her head and face, and a net cap will keep these in place.

Preparing for the test

  • Make sure your child does not have any caffeine or sugar on test day.
  • Do not let your child nap on test day.
  • Eat dinner before you arrive. The main hospital cafeteria closes at 7 p.m. and Oakbrooke has no food service.
  • You may bring a snack for your child as long as it does not contain sugar, caffeine, or chocolate.
  • Bring your child's favorite bedtime comfort items such as a blanket, favorite book, or stuffed animal.
  • Bring any medications that your child may need.
  • Bathe your child and wash his/her hair on the day of the test, but please do not use any lotions or oils on the skin.
  • There is a DVD player in the room so you may bring your child's favorite video.

Arrival instructions

All sleep study appointments are scheduled for 7 p.m. For studies at CHKD's main hospital, please park in the visitors' garage and go to the admitting department on the first floor. A member of our staff will meet you there and take you to the sleep lab. For sleep studies at CHKD's Health Center at Oakbrooke, please park in front of the building. Use the intercom at the front entrance to call the sleep center.

Additional information

  • We have a place for one parent to stay overnight. Most children are more comfortable knowing that a parent is close by. Please stay with your child at all times during the study.
  • You will be asked to turn off all cell phones and other devices at lights out, between 9 and 10 p.m.
  • The study will end at approximately 6 a.m. If you prefer an earlier wake-up time, please notify your technician.
  • You will get the results of the sleep study during your follow-up visit.

If you have any questions concerning the sleep study or if you are unable to keep an appointment, please call us at (757) 668-9466.