Your Sleep Study at Boston Children’s Hospital

Hi, my name is Lisa, I’m a sleep technologist. I’m here to talk to you about what a sleep study is and how we do them at Boston Children’s Hospital. We’re looking forward to having
you as our sleepover guest. Okay, first things first. A sleep study is a special sleepover here
at the hospital where you get to come hang with the cool technologist like me. During the study, your technologist will watch and
record everything your body does while you sleep. Pretty cool, right? A parent will sleep in the room with you, and I
promise there’s nothing scary about the process. When you get to the hospital, you will get a
badge to wear at the front desk in the main lobby. Your parent will check you in using a special kiosk. Then, you head to the main elevators
and take a ride up to the ninth floor. Follow the signs for the sleep
lab, and look for room MA 978. When you get there, your technologist may ask you some questions like your name and your birthday. Not so hard, right? You should have dinner before coming to the study
but you can bring special snacks if you’d like. Be sure to bring your medications and any
medical equipment you may need at night. You can bring your favorite PJs
and clothes to wear the next day. There will be pillows and
blankets here for you in your room, but we won’t have your favorite
stuffed animals or favorite pillow, so make sure to bring those. You can brush your teeth and get ready
for bed the way you usually do at home. Then, you can get in bed and get comfortable. Now that you’ve become acquainted with your room, a nurse will come in and make sure
you are all ready for your sleepover. Before we get started, you’ll step on to a scale. Then the technologist will see how tall you are. It will take 45 minutes to get you ready. Most of that time is used to stick a lot of
these cool gadgets on your head and body. They’re like magical stickers that can tell what’s
going on inside your body while you’re sleeping. These stickers might look funny, but don’t worry, they go on easy and don’t hurt at all. You’ll also get to wear two special belts. These help us record how you
breathe while you’re asleep. It’s important to make sure your hair is clean
and dry when you come into the sleep center. If your hair is wet, the stickers could fall off. The technologist will also clean parts of
your head so that they’ll stick nicely in place. A special tape and a soft head wrap, like a
hat, will keep them in the right place overnight. You’ll get a few stickers on
your upper body and legs too. Everything sticks on like a band-aid
and comes off just as easily. You will have a small tube called a
nasal cannula taped under your nose. It looks sort of like a funny mustache. While your technologist is getting you ready, you
can read a book, play with a toy, or watch a movie! It’s important to stay still while your
technologist gets everything on, but if you feel nervous and need
a break, it’s okay, just say so. Last thing before bedtime, your technologist
will put a sticker with a red light on your finger. Even though it’s on your finger, it
actually records signals from your heart. How cool is that? By now, you will officially look a lot like a robot. This is probably a good time to take some
pictures and share with friends and family. After all, they’ve probably never
dressed up like a robot before. Just before we turn out the lights, the technologist will ask you to do a few simple
things like holding your breath and pretending to cough. Just to make sure that all the
stickers are working correctly. We know this room is different from what
you’re used to, but don’t worry, you’ll fall asleep! Even robots fall asleep eventually. Your technologist will be in the room next door, staying up all night to make sure you’re safe, and that the gadgets are doing their job. There’s a camera in the room so they
can hear and see you while you sleep. If you need anything at all,
or need to use the bathroom, you can just ask in your normal
voice and they’ll be right in. The technologist might come in to check
on your stickers while you’re sleeping. This is okay, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong, if you wake up while your technologist is
there, you can just go right back to sleep. If you’re still asleep when the study is over
in the morning, we’ll gently wake you up. Your technologist will take off all
the stickers and other gadgets, and gently wash your head with
a cloth and special shampoo. If you want to have a shower, or
clean up a little more, you can. And then you can go! Your doctor will talk to your family about what we learn from your sleep study at your follow-up visit. Does the sleep study hurt? There is nothing that hurts about a
sleep study, there are no needles. You will have to be patient and calm with all the
stickers and wires on your head while you sleep, but that’s usually the worst thing about it. What if I can’t fall asleep? We know it could be hard to fall asleep in a new
room with weird gadgets all over your body, but trust us, the best way to fall
asleep is to just not think about it. If you don’t normally nap, make sure
you don’t on the day of your sleep study. That way, you’ll be extra tired. How long will it take to get ready? Well, that’s partly up to you. If you can help your technician by being patient
and staying still while all the gadgets go on, it’s about 45 minutes from beginning to end. Why does my doctor want me to have a sleep study? Sleep gives your body a chance to
recharge and build up energy. You use that energy for a healthy brain and body. If anything is getting in the way of your sleep, your doctor wants to find out what it is and fix it. What can I bring for my child? You can bring familiar things from
home like toys, games, a book, a snack, or other things that can make your child
more comfortable and keep their attention. What’s my role as parent during the sleep study? You will do everything you usually do at home
to care for your child during the sleep study. If my child is old enough, can they stay on their own? At Boston Children’s Hospital, a parent or caregiver
must stay in the room during the entire study. What if my child can’t fall asleep? I know you and your child may be nervous
about getting enough sleep during your study, but don’t worry, even if it seems
like your child didn’t sleep well, we can still get lots of information from the study. We’re happy to make the process
as easy and fun as possible. We look forward to your stay with us!

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