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The Sleep Center Clinic provides ongoing care to address your child’s sleep problems. This begins with a thorough evaluation to understand your concerns. We continue to see your child as needed once a care plan is developed.

Evaluating your sleep concerns

Your first visit with us will usually be with one of our providers in the Sleep Clinic, unless another provider has specifically referred you for a sleep study. At your first appointment, the sleep specialist will meet with your family to discuss:

  • The sleep patterns your child is experiencing at home.
  • Your reasons for concern.
  • Diagnostic tests that will help the care team better understand your child’s sleep cycles and rhythms, such as a sleep study.
  • Next steps to begin managing your child’s care.

Sleep studies for children

There are two main types of sleep studies we use at Children's Mercy. One option is to visit the Sleep Lab for an overnight or daytime sleep study. The other option is to keep track of sleep habits at home using a sleep diary or actigraphy device (a watch that continually detects ambient light and motion during sleep and awake times). 

In some cases, your primary care or other provider may refer you directly to the Sleep Lab for a sleep study.

Future visits to the Sleep Clinic

After the studies are complete, you’ll meet again with your sleep specialist either in person or by phone to develop a plan going forward. If your child needs any durable medical equipment (such as a CPAP or oxygen), the team will help you to find the right home care company to deliver this service.

Preparing for your appointment


A sleep diary can help understand sleep patterns. Use this sleep diary if your care team asks you to complete a home sleep tracking log for your child.

Your care team will need to understand your child’s sleep history. We will ask for you to provide this information during your first visit. Here is a sample of the items we will be asking:

  • What is your main sleep concern?
  • Has your child had a previous sleep evaluation or sleep study?
  • What is your child’s past medical history?
  • What is your family history of sleep disorders?
  • Where does your child sleep and how do they fall asleep?
  • What time do you start your child’s bedtime routine?
  • How long does it take for your child to fall asleep?
  • How often does your child wake during the night? What do you do if your child wakes during the night?
  • What is the longest stretch of sleep?
  • How many naps does your child take?
  • While sleeping, does your child ever snore, always snore, snore loudly, have heaving or loud breathing, or have trouble breathing?
  • Have you ever seen your child stop breathing during the night?
  • Does your child have restless sleep or “growing pains” (unexplained leg pains)?
  • While your child sleeps, have you seen brief kicks in one or both legs?
  • Does your child has any abnormal behavior such as sleep walking, talking or teeth grinding?


There are over 80 diagnoses that could affect your child during sleep and the following are the most common disorders that your child may be evaluated for:

  • Difficulty initiating and staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Problems with the body biological clock (circadian rhythm disorders)
  • Sleep apnea or other breathing problems during sleep such as hypoventilation disorders
  • Daytime sleepiness disorders such as narcolepsy
  • Abnormal sleep behaviors (parasomnias) such as sleep terrors and sleepwalking
  • Restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder
  • Sleep-related movement disorders such as head banging and body rocking
  • Sleep-related seizure disorders