Sleep Studies
in the Sleep Lab at All Children's Hospital

Our Respiratory and Sleep Laboratory has been specializing in pediatric sleep studies since 1980. Our state of the art pediatric sleep lab is located inside All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg Florida. We are the only full service multidisciplinary children's hospital-based Joint Commission accredited sleep disorders center in West Central Florida.

We diagnose and care for children with many types of sleep disorder, including:

  • Sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive apnea, snoring and apnea of infancy
  • Behavioral problems such as bedtime struggles and night awakenings 
  • Parasomnias such as sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep terrors and nightmares 
  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Circadian rhythm disorders such as delayed sleep phase syndrome 
  • Movement disorders such as periodic limb movement disorder and head banging

We provide a variety of sleep-related services, including overnight polysomnography, nap studies, CPAP and BIPAP titrations, supplemental oxygen titrations, pH studies, extended EEG polysomnography, Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT), and ventilation studies. We offer positive airway pressure mask education and acclimation for PAP therapy.

We aid in the evaluation and management of children with obstructive sleep apnea, as well as chronic lung diseases, degenerative muscle disease with chronic respiratory failure, hypoventilation syndrome, and respiratory control disorders. Our clinical staff will assist in making recommendations about supplemental oxygen, non-invasive ventilatory support in the form of CPAP or BiPAP, and mechanical assisted ventilation during sleep.

What is a Sleep Study (Polysomnogram)?

During a sleep study, about 30 small electrodes are placed on your child to record his sleep activities, including brain function, breathing patterns, eye activity and muscle tone. More than 1,000 pages of information are recorded during the night, with two technologists present at all times to monitor the children and evaluate the recordings.

An overnight study often reveals a medical problem. Treatment for upper airway obstruction may include surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids. There are times that other procedures are considered, such as breathing support during sleep.

Healthy children may have problems sleeping through the night because of psychological or behavioral factors. For primary sleep disorders other than sleep apnea, behavioral modification and specific medications can also be prescribed. A pediatric behavioral psychologist can work with children and families, teaching specific behavioral techniques to help children develop better sleep patterns.

The Sleep Study Process

Before your Study

An overnight sleep study is ordered directly by a primary care physician or a specialty physician. Once our  office receives a referral, we will contact the family to schedule a date and time.

After we schedule the study the parents must pre-register their child prior to the sleep study by calling Registration at 727-767-4392.

On the Day of your Study

Parents and patients come to the admissions office, located in the main lobby of the hospital, to complete the registration paperwork and receive identification badges. Sleep studies are performed at night, starting at 8 pm and ending at 6 am. Plan to arrive to the hospital for registration at least 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment.

A sleep technologist monitors your child throughout the night. Breathing patterns, movements and quality of sleep are observed, recorded and documented through the night. This helps us diagnose and treat disorders of breathing during sleep as well as movement disorders, problems initiating or maintaining sleep and behavioral sleep disorders.

Sensors are placed on your child's head to assess stages of sleep by using an electroencephalography (EEG). This measures and records the electrical activity of your child's brain. Sensors are place near your child's nose, chest and abdomen to measure breathing, and sensors on the child's legs measure movement during sleep. All these sensors are applied to the skin.

Helping Children Feel Comfortable During a Sleep Study

Your child can bring a toy, teddy bear or a favorite blanket from home to help feel more comfortable. Each sleep room has a separate bed for the parent to sleep in so your child is not sleeping alone. Each room has a television and DVD for the child to watch during the hookup. We offer a vast selection of movies, a DVD player and flat screen televisions connected to the All Children's Hospital system. Children and parents can use personal electronic devices such as cell phones and personal computers while the sensors are put in place, but all electronic personal devices must be turned off during the actual sleep study. Medically necessary electronic devices, such as feeding pumps are permitted. One parent must stay in the hospital during the study. Our facility has a separate lounge with a television for parents to watch after the study starts. At least two registered polysomnography technologist staff members are in the sleep lab between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. every evening during the sleep studies.

Sleep Study Results

The admissions staff will notify the sleep lab when the registration is complete, and the technologist will meet you and your child in the main hospital lobby. The Sleep Laboratory is located on the second floor of the OCC Building, attached to the main hospital.

Preparing for Your Child's Sleep Study

  • Follow the instructions given by the referring physician.
  • No caffeine the day of the study. If possible, we suggest no caffeine for two days.
  • No napping the day of the study.
  • Bring comfortable pajamas, preferably 2 piece (top and bottom). Since sensors are applied to the legs and sometimes feet, one-piece pajamas are discouraged. Bring slippers and/or socks if desired. Each room has temperature control that can be adjusted to the patient's needs.
  • Eat before coming to the sleep lab. The admissions office is located in the main lobby across from the cafeteria. Parents and their child can come early to have dinner or a snack in the cafeteria. Light snacks, such as crackers and drinks, can be brought into the lab.

Information for Health Professionals

Referring a Patient

Polysomnograms are ordered directly from a physician.

Both a request form and precertification are required before the patient can be scheduled for the study. The patient's complete clinical history and insurance information must be completed by the ordering physician.

 To obtain a request form for a polysomnogram, or for information about referring a patient, please contact our office at 727-767-4458, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Completed request forms can be faxed to the sleep laboratory office at 727-767-8821.

In order to best serve the needs of the patient, we appreciate a complete patient medical history. Please make us aware of any special needs the patient has so that we can discuss accommodations for the patient with the parent. These may include medical needs such as supplemental oxygen, physical needs such as a special bed, and emotional or behavioral special needs for which additional staffing can be considered.  Some patients with special needs may benefit by visiting the lab, and meeting with one of our staff before coming in for their sleep study. To learn more about this service, please contact our office.