Do you have to stay at sleep studies for the entire night to cure a sleep disorder?

This question was asked in Bay Shore, New York on 06/20/2012.
I am concerned about snoring for my child. He stops breathing from time to time. If he goes in for a sleep study, will he have to stay the entire night?

Doctors Answers (5)

Ramie A. Tritt, M.D., FRCSC
Answered on: 6/27/2012

In my clinical experience a six hour sleep study will yield a reliable result. A sleep study of less than 6 hours may yield a reliable result if the condition being evaluated occurs frequently enough to be detected. In summary, I advise my patients to come to the sleep lab around 9pm in the evening, and usually by 10pm, after having had the required paraphernalia attached to them, they are ready to go to sleep. Typically by 6am my patients are waking up and ready to leave the sleep center; and continue on with their daily routine.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 6/22/2012

An overnight sleep study can be scheduled to assess the severity of his sleep disordered breathing. If patientis a minor most labs that study pedicatric patients have facilities for parents to stay with their children on site during the diagnsotic study in case any problems arise. You should ask about this before the study is scheduled to a void any conflicts. A full nights diagnsotic study with help clarify if a disorder is present and which treatment would then be appropriate.

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 6/21/2012

Yes. For a sleep study performed in a sleep testing facility, you have to spend the entire night at the lab. Usually with kids, parents our one of the parent can stay as well. You may Just have to check at the time schedule.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 6/21/2012

It is best to spend the entire night for a sleep study. One reason is that certain stages of sleep are more prominent during the first part of the night and other stages are more dominant later in the night. Sleep disordered breathing is often more pronounced later in the night. Most sleep studies end by 6 AM. The sleep study itself does not "cure" a sleep disorder but assists in making a diagnosis. The history you have given suggests that your child may have obstructive sleep apnea.

Marjorie Yong, M.D.
Answered on: 6/21/2012

We can let children leave earlier than the adults if enough data is collected. Do not worry, we have wonderful technicians who work well with children. Take care.