7 Helpful Tips for a Sleep Study

7 Helpful Tips for Your Next Sleep Study

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A Sleep Study can be difficult on everyone involved. I’ve compiled a few tips to help make your stay less stressful.

When Jaxson was born our Pediatrician was concerned about his recessed chin, or micrognathia. They were especially concerned when he was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia, an airway disorder, and his micrognathia.

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Jaxson’s first sleep study

Why you ask? Well Laryngomalacia occurs when the larynx is softened and flops back and forth when the child breathes. Since he had the softening of his larynx and micrognathia it was a concern for severe obstructive sleep apnea events.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and blocks the airway during sleep. It is also one of a few types of sleep apnea disorders.

How does one diagnosis this?

In order to diagnosis sleep apnea, one has to partake in a sleep study at a Sleep Center. Generally when you go in for a sleep study it is after hours around 6 pm and you check out at 6 am the following morning. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong.

Our son Jaxson didn’t like to have the CPAP in his nose, therefore we were frequently trying to place it back. There seemed to be hundreds of cords attached to his head and Jaxson wanted to rip out every single one of them.

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7 Tips to make your time at a sleep study less stressful:

1. Try to keep to your child’s bed time routine.

At that point in time, the only way Jaxson would sleep was if he was in his rock n’ play and swaddled with his pacifier. I know it is going to be difficult to keep your routine but bringing their favorite book, stuffed animal, or blanket could help make your stay a little better. We literally brought our rock n’ play with us to help him feel a little ‘at home’. The blanket and pacifier helped comfort him as well.

Updated 8/10/2019: The Rock n Play has been recalled for safety reasons.

Try to keep your child’s bed time routine the same when you go to the sleep study. I know it can be very difficult because it is not in the safety of your home.

Bring something like their favorite pillow, pacifier, book, etc. to help ease this difficult time.

2. BRING YOUR PHONE CHARGER.

I couldn’t sleep because I was either wrestling with him to keep his bandage (on his head) and keep the tubing (CPAP) in his nose, I was stressed about the results, and I had anxiety because we weren’t home.

I know no one will be up to talk to but you can lurk on Facebook, catch up on the recent gossip, or play Angry Birds. Nothing is more upsetting then your phone dying and you have NO phone charger.

3. Bring your child’s tablet.

Jaxson wasn’t old enough for a tablet but if he was I would’ve brought my oldest son’s Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition. This tablet is an absolute godsend on road trips, shopping trips, doctor appointments, etc. Ensure you bring the charger to that as well!

4. If you have other children, PLAN AHEAD. 

Please, PLEASE plan ahead. You cannot bring any other children or adult with you. Nothing is more stressful than trying to find a last minute baby sitter! If you are a military family like us it is extra hard to find someone to babysit last minute, our family is too far away.

5. Bring all the snacks!

YASSS. Pack all the snacks! The two times we’ve gone to a sleep study they didn’t have anything to eat or drink. Pack your child’s favorite snack and juice box!

Also, if your child has any medications or has strict dietary needs–pack that with you as well. Jaxson only drinks almond milk and requires 2.5 mg melatonin at night to relax him.

6. Wear comfortable clothing.

This is obvious. I wore a pair of comfy sweats and a big t-shirt to his sleep study. I knew it was going to be a rough night and wanted to be comfortable.

Also bring your child in a two piece because they’ll have a lot of cables! It’ll be easier on everyone involved if they’re wearing a two piece pajama set and not a sleeper.

7. Last but not least… bring patience.

This is going to be hard for them and you. They’re going to be scared when they wrap their heads with bandage to keep the leads attached to their heads. They’re not going to be in the comfort of their home and stressed out. Patience is key.

I hope that these tips make your sleep study successful and not extra stressful! What tips have you found worked for you at a sleep study? Please share below!

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7 Helpful Tips for Your Child's Next Sleep Study

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0 thoughts on “7 Helpful Tips for Your Next Sleep Study”

  1. This is great information. My husband did a sleep study, and I can't imagine how much harder it would be for a child to go through it. Knowing all of this upfront will definitely help make it easier.

  2. great tips. Comfy clothes and snacks will definitely make the experience a bit less stressful! Earphones too so that you can listen to music if you get tired of angry birds 😉

  3. Glad to learn about sleep apnea disorder here and the tps to prepare for sleep study. It is very informative and details. This information should reach out to more people especially new mom and mom to be!

  4. This is such great advice! My son was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea due to excessively large tonsils and needed a sleep study and tonsillectomy which was so tough for our little man, he was only 2 at the time.

  5. We haven't had to do a sleep study for my boys, but these are great tips for almost any overnight stay somewhere. I would add maybe to bring an extension cord for those phone/tablet cords. Often the plugs in doctor/hospital settings are convenient for their equipment but not for yours. This helped a lot when my youngest was born so I could actually reach my phone while it was charging.

  6. I had a sleep study done for myself and it was very uncomfortable. I can imagine how much harder it must be for kids! Patience is a must.

  7. Thank you Christa (awesome middle name by the way 😉 — mines Anne as well)! Yes it has been a rough year but he's doing so much better. I hope to help others so that they don't feel lost like we did. <3

  8. This sounds like quite the ordeal that you and son went through for the sleep study. I'm sure you're glad its all done. Thank you for the tips to help other parents who may end up going through the same.

  9. I've known adults to go through a sleep study but never a child. I can't imagine how stressful that would be. Great tips, especially the phone charger and planning for your other kids.

  10. I had NO IDEA that a child so young could have sleep apnea. Good to know but also makes me a tad nervous because I am currently pregnant – and think about all the issues that could result!

  11. Aww, being a parent is difficult — even when the baby is still in your belly! Always constant worry! I know I've been a bundle of nerves since I got my first positive with my oldest almost 6 years ago!

  12. These are some really great tips when it comes to sleep. Even as adults we have a hard time getting to sleep, so making sure we help little ones the best we can is so important.

  13. My older brother had to do a sleep test a few years ago, he had trouble breathing in his sleep (thanks to my sister inlaw she noticed his breathing problem and made him go in).
    These are great tips you've shared, thanks!

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