Sleep Clinic Offers Special Modifications for Children

A good night’s sleep is critical for people of all ages. But if children don’t get consistent, restful sleep, it can lead to a host of problems, including trouble paying attention in school, behavior problems and other health issues.

“A sleep study can diagnose sleep disorders commonly seen in children, including obstructive sleep apnea, night terrors, periodic limb movement disorder and narcolepsy,” explained Erika Just, RPSGT, clinical lab manager at Albany Med’s Sleep Clinic, where overnight sleep studies and daytime nap studies are offered for pediatric patients ages 12 months and older.

A sleep study may also be required prior to a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy.

Recently reaccredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Sleep Clinic offers modifications for pediatric patients, including the opportunity to tour the clinic prior to their overnight stay.

“Children can touch the wires that will monitor their brain waves and vitals, see the room where they’ll sleep and ask any questions they – or their parents – may have in advance of their study,” said Just.

“It’s important that the kids feel comfortable and part of the process,” added Crystal Charland, RPSGT, a sleep navigator who works with pediatric patients. “We make sure to take our time with them and never rush them through the set-up process.”

In addition, patients aged 10 and younger have a dedicated sleep technologist during their overnight sleep study. This technician applies all the wires that monitor the child’s brain waves, oxygen level, heart rhythms, breathing patterns and more, and makes any necessary adjustments through the night. While many children are tolerant of having the wires applied before they fall asleep, in some cases, the technician may even wait until the child is asleep before attaching the wires.

One parent is required to stay overnight with any patient younger than 18 years. Pediatric patients must have a prescription from their provider prior to scheduling an overnight sleep study.

The sleep study data are processed the next day and the final interpretation is delivered to the requesting provider shortly after.