Sleep studies for children with special needs
A sleep study is an effective way for your sleep doctor to understand what’s happening in your child’s brain and body while they are asleep. Children’s Mercy provides a child-friendly sleep lab experience, with technicians who are dedicated to working with kids of all ages and abilities.
We have a visual introduction to the sleep lab available for all families to help you know what to expect before your visit and talk about the steps of the sleep study with your child.
Watch a video and read about what to expect during a sleep study.
For children with sensory needs or significant anxiety about having a sleep study, we invite your family to visit the sleep lab for a tour, so you can meet the technicians and explore the equipment and surroundings before your child’s study.
You can also schedule an appointment with our sleep psychologist, who can help your child through a process of desensitization to the monitoring equipment by practicing at home for a period of time before the sleep study. This process uses materials that are similar to the sleep study tools, such as stickers on the head and legs to get used to the electrode sensors, a piece of tape around the finger to feel like the pulse oximeter, and medical gauze around their chest to mimic the heart monitors.
It’s important for families to know that sleep studies in children are very different than in adults. The way the study is run and scored in children is specific to pediatrics, so centers that primarily provide adult sleep studies may not provide results that will be helpful to your sleep doctor. Home sleep studies are not validated in children, so we recommend that all families have their sleep study at a pediatric facility for best results.