Pediatric Sleep Studies

- Dr. Tricia Ritch

Dr. Tricia Ritch

Pediatric Sleep Studies are done on children over the age of 2 and in much the same way as for our adult patients.  However, because our patients are under 18, an adult has to come and spend the night in the lab, too! 

We monitor many different things during sleep.  The EEG is applied to the head so that we can monitor when the child goes to sleep and then monitor for the different stages of sleep.  We also monitor breathing by placing a monitor in the nose (like an oxygen tube) and over the mouth so that we can see when air flows through the nose or mouth to get to the lungs.  We measure the oxygen level of the blood by using a monitor on the finger or toe.  On the body, we have belts on the chest and on the abdomen so we can tell when the child is trying to take a breath.  We have an EKG to measure the heart beat and one monitor on each leg to see how frequently the child is moving around. 

We do sleep studies in children for the same reasons as for adults.  If they snore, we need to make sure the snoring is not causing sleep apnea.  However children can also have frequent awakenings throughout the night and sometimes cry or have jerking movements which might also need to be investigated.  In these cases, we are looking for something called Parasomnias.  Parasomnias are things like sleep walking, night terrors, night mares, and sleep walking. 

Children who have insomnia, or difficulty going to sleep, do not usually qualify for a sleep study but may benefit from an evaluation in our sleep clinic for help on ways to improve their night time routine.

Dr. Tricia Ritch's patient emphasis is Childhood Stroke, Epilepsy, General Child Neurology and Pediatric Sleep Medicine.

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