What to Expect During Your Child’s Sleep Study

If your child needs a sleep study, it will be conducted at our Mountain View location.

Coming to the sleep clinic is like going to any other medical specialist. Your insurance may require preauthorization, and our staff will discuss this with you at the time the appointment is made. Depending on your child’s needs, you may be scheduled for an initial office visit before the sleep study, or you may move directly to the sleep study. During office visits, our team will take your child’s medical history and conduct a physical examination, focusing on the sleep complaint.

Overnight sleep studies are scheduled seven days a week and usually require the child to spend 12 hours or longer at the clinic. If your child is scheduled for an overnight sleep study, a parent or guardian is expected to share the room with the child. Your child should feel free to bring anything he or she needs to feel comfortable or remind him or her of home (except pets!).

Check-in time for overnight sleep studies is 7 p.m. This gives your child time to become familiar with his or her bedroom before going to sleep. Your child can go to sleep and wake up at his or her usual time.

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What to expect during a sleep study

If your child isn’t sleeping well, a sleep study at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health may help explain why. Learn more about what happens during a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram.


A sleep study evaluates your child’s oxygen levels, breathing patterns, and sleep patterns. Your child’s study will be tailored to his or her needs and requests of the referring physician.

All of our comprehensive, attended polysomnograms measure:

  • Brain waves (sensors placed on the head).
  • Heartbeat (sensors placed on the chest).
  • Eye movements (sensors placed above and below the eyes).
  • Leg movements (sensors placed on the lower leg).
  • Breathing (sensors placed under the nose or near the mouth).
  • Breathing effort and chest movement (small belts placed around the chest and stomach).
  • Oxygen levels (adhesive strip sensor attached to the finger).
  • Carbon dioxide levels (sensors placed on the chest).

The sensors do not hurt and are applied so that your child may move freely during sleep. More details regarding the sleep test will be provided when the appointment is scheduled.

Study results are sent to the referring physician.