Your child’s doctor may request a sleep study to help diagnose a sleep disorder, or a condition related to sleep.
Our Sleep Centers are designed for quiet and comfort, with a highly trained team and the very latest in sleep monitoring equipment. Our technologists are friendly, calming and experienced with children. They will do everything possible to make sure your child is comfortable during the study. The results of your child’s study will be scored by a technologist, and then interpreted by a physician. They will also be shared with your child’s referring doctor. CHOC specialists such as pulmonologists, neurologists, otolaryngologists (ENT) and psychologists may also be involved in your child’s care.
We ask that one parent or guardian stay with the child during the study. To minimize distractions for our young patients who are in a new environment, siblings are not allowed. A sleep study is usually done on an outpatient basis. In addition to an overnight sleep study, we may also perform a multiple sleep latency test, which is conducted the following day. Children under the age of 1 may only have a daytime nap study, which lasts on average four hours.
Your child’s room will be kept cool, but blankets are available as needed. A technologist will place about 25 small metal discs, called electrodes, on your child’s head and body. The discs are not invasive and won’t cause any pain. They are attached to wires that record and transmit data to the control room. These wires are long and flexible, and we make every effort to keep your child comfortable while they wear them. A sensor will be attached to one finger, and small sensors will be placed under the child’s nostrils. Small elastic belts will be placed around your child’s chest and abdomen. None of this equipment should cause pain or extreme discomfort. While we understand that children may not be able to tolerate all of the equipment throughout the night, our technologists will do their best to keep it in place, in order to record the best data for your child’s study.
The technologist will always be in the room next to yours. He or she will watch your child’s every breath, movement and brainwave using video monitoring and state-of-the-art equipment including:
• EEG, to monitor brain activity. Our EEG technology is compatible with long-term monitoring equipment, in case a more comprehensive EEG is needed.
• EKG, to monitor heart activity
• EOG, to monitor eye movement
• EMG, to monitor muscle activity
• Thermistor, to monitor airflow
• Pulse oximetry, to monitor oxygen levels
• Lightweight belts with sensors, to monitor respiratory effort
If a technologist identifies an issue with a child, they will immediately provide assistance if needed. If a serious issue occurs, both Sleep Center locations are located within our main hospitals and have access to all other support services, including intensive care and respiratory services.
Video: What to Expect at Your Child's Sleep Study
The CHOC Sleep Center has two locations that are designed for quiet and comfort, with technologists that are friendly, calming and experienced with children. In this video, learn what happens when your child has a sleep study at CHOC.
Preparing for a Sleep Study
Children who are undergoing an overnight sleep study will be at the Sleep Disorder Center for about 10 hours, starting in the evening and ending the following morning. Children who are also having daytime testing will stay for an additional 10 hours.
• An adequate amount of diapers and formula for 10 hours, if needed.
• If your child uses a CPAP or BIPAP at home, please bring the mask and any medications if used.
• Bring all medications that your child will require during their stay at CHOC. • Healthy snacks. A cafeteria and vending machines are also available nearby.
• Sleepwear for you and your child. Your child’s sleepwear should not have enclosed feet or zippers.
• Your child’s regular pillow and favorite sleep toy or blanket, to help them feel at home.
• Books, homework, laptops/tablets or toys, to keep your child occupied and comfortable while awake. Free WiFi is available.
Prior to the study, avoid putting lotions, creams or oils on your child’s body and face. Your child’s hair should be clean and dry, with no hair products. Your child should avoid any sugar or caffeine (chocolate, coffee, tea or soda) prior to the study. Please have dinner with your child prior to arriving.
If your child requires any special equipment such as a feeding pump, suctioning, oxygen or a ventilator, please contact us at (714) 509-8651 to arrange this ahead of time.
If there is a change in your child’s insurance, please contact your doctor’s office and our office with current information, to prevent billing issues. Prior authorization from the insurance company may be required before the study takes place.
Our Mission Viejo location is staffed after 6:30 p.m. To reach us earlier in the day, please call the Orange location at 714-509-8651. If you need to call after 6:30 p.m., please call us at 949-365-2308.
CHOC Children's Orange
Please check in at the main entrance of the hospital, located near the intersection of Pepper Street and La Veta Avenue. Parking is located immediately west of the hospital. Valet parking is also available at the entrance. You will check in at the Admitting desk, near the main entrance on the first floor of the hospital. Please bring your child’s insurance card. After registration, you will be escorted to the Sleep Disorder Center.
CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital
Please arrive at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital no later than 7 p.m. Please report to security in the main lobby of Mission Hospital. Be prepared to show identification. Inform the security personnel that your child is here for a sleep study at the CHOC Mission Sleep Center. After receiving a hospital badge from security, please use the house phone to dial extension 2309 for the Sleep Center. A sleep technologist will meet you in the lobby and escort you to the CHOC Sleep Center located on the fifth floor. It is very important that you be on time for the test. Bring your insurance card and be prepared to sign appropriate documents. A legal guardian/parent must stay with the patient throughout the entire test. Discharge is at approximately 6 a.m. the next day. Please bring your CHOC Mission parking ticket with you so it can be validated prior to discharge. If you need to reach the CHOC Mission Sleep Center for last minute cancellations (after 6 p.m.) on the day of the study, please call 949-365-2309. Technologists will be at the Sleep Center by 6:30 p.m.
The CHOC Difference
- CHOC is ranked as one of the top pulmonology programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
- We have two state-of-the-art Sleep Centers — one at CHOC Children’s Orange and one at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.
- Both CHOC Sleep Centers are located within our main hospitals and have access to all other support services, including respiratory services and intensive care.
- Our Sleep Center team is board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric pulmonary medicine, neurology and sleep medicine.
- Other CHOC specialists such as board-certified otolaryngologists (ENT) and psychologists may also be involved in your child’s care.
- CHOC registered sleep technologists are specially trained to work with infants, children and adolescents.
- We provide outpatient specialty care for kids who have sleep problems but don’t require a sleep study, and for kids who require CPAP/BIPAP services.