The Sleep Medicine Center at Lurie Children’s is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our staff members have unique expertise in treating healthy and medically complex children from birth through 18 years of age, including children with craniofacial abnormalities and genetic syndromes. We are unique in our ability to evaluate newborns, including infants born prematurely. We help in the management of sleep disordered breathing in children with complex medical conditions such as neuromuscular disease, craniofacial syndrome, chronic lung diseases and respiratory control disorders.
Our center offers multiple services, including:
Consultations with Board Certified Sleep Medicine physicians
Sleep studies, including diagnostic baseline polysomnography, PAP titration, sleep studies with oxygen and non-invasive ventilation, Multiple Sleep Latency Tests (MSLT) and Actigraphy. Sleep study results are interpreted and sent to the physician who ordered the study and to certain other doctors involved in your child’s care within 24 to 72 hours.
Polysomnography (PSG) is a sleep study that is done while your child sleeps in a sleep lab overnight. It includes leads that evaluate brain waves, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and breathing effort. The sleep study helps determine the different stages of sleep, the amount of movement during sleep, and the quality of breathing during sleep.
A multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) is done during the day after the night time sleep study (PSG). It monitors how quickly a child can fall asleep during the day when given opportunity to nap. This test measures a child’s sleepiness during the day.
Titration studies are used to learn how different treatment, including CPAP, Bi-level, or oxygen therapy, can help the child breath better. For this study, your child wears a mask or a nasal cannula connected to a machine or oxygen tank that blows air at a precise pressure to help with breathing during sleep.
Actigraphy is a watch-like device worn on the wrist that is used to monitor your child’s sleep and wake pattern over a period of time, typically a few weeks. It is an important tool for evaluation of children with circadian rhythm disorders such as delayed sleep phase syndrome.
Behavioral Sleep Health and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
The Lurie Children's Difference
The Sleep Medicine Center at Lurie Children’s Hospital was first accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in 1996 and since has been re-accredited every 5 years. The last re-accreditation occurred in 2019. Accreditation by the AASM indicates its highest standard of care, excellent facility management and the highest staff credentials. In addition to providing top-quality care, we also place a strong emphasis on training future pediatric sleep medicine specialists, pediatric sleep and research. The Sleep Medicine Center is the training site for pediatric sleep medicine for the ACGME accredited fellowship training program of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Our center’s current research studies include investigation into measuring excessive sleepiness in children, evaluating the effects of lack of sleep during childhood, and studying infants’ breathing pattern.
Conditions We Treat
Sleep Issues in Infants
Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep without parental help
Frequent night waking
Frequent night feedings
Apnea of prematurity
Breathing problems including periodic breathing, central apneas, and obstructive apneas
Sleeplessness (Insomnia) in Children & Adolescents
Problems falling asleep
Frequent nighttime waking and/or difficulty returning to sleep
Problems of Wake & Sleep Timing
Difficulty falling asleep or waking at the desired time
Reversal of sleep-wake timings (sleeping during the day, awake at night)
Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD)
Irregular sleep patterns
Sleeping until late hours in the morning/afternoon on weekends
Feeling sleepy during the daytime, dozing off easily
Taking frequent naps, or resuming napping in an older child
Insufficient sleep or inconsistent sleep schedule
Sleeping for longer periods at night than usual
Excessive sleepiness or fatigue due to medical disorders
Narcolepsy; A neurological sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness and in some cases accompanied by episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter).
Parasomnias or Unusual Nighttime Events Occurring During Sleep
Sleep terrors (incomplete waking, crying or screaming, thrashing, looking upset or frightened)
Teeth grinding (bruxism)
Periodic limb movements in sleep; frequent kicking or leg jerks while asleep
Restless leg syndrome (RLS); An urge to move the legs often associated with discomfort during the evening or at bedtime that is relieved by activity and worsened with rest)
Coming Soon: Lurie Children's Outpatient Center in Skokie
What to Expect During Your Visit with a Sleep Medicine Physician
We can help you and your child get ready for your appointment at the Sleep Center, regardless of age or sleep issue.
Overall, the purpose is to gather information on your child's sleep.
Before your visit we often recommend that you keep a detailed sleep log of your child's sleep for a couple of weeks before your appointment. This will give us a detailed window into your child’s sleep problems. Download our sleep log. We also request that you complete our new patient questionnaire. Download the questionnaire.
Your first visit will last about an hour. You and your child will meet with an attending physician who is a board-certified sleep specialist. Because we are a teaching hospital for Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a sleep fellow or medical trainee may accompany or proceed your child's doctor.
The initial meeting is comprised of an interview and physical exam. Depending on the nature of the problem, we will then either construct a treatment plan or advise you on the next steps of testing.
Sleep studies are conducted at the following locations:
Our state-of-the-art facility laboratories offer individual rooms, allowing families to stay overnight with their children. The Sleep Laboratory is staffed by experienced pediatric sleep technicians. These specialists gather information to help evaluate sleep-related problems. There is availability for sleep studies 7 days a week. To schedule a sleep study, please call 312.227.6740.
What to Expect During a Sleep Study
If you are coming to our laboratory for a sleep study (also known as polysomnography), you and your child are probably wondering what to expect.
In this step-by-step video walkthrough of a sleep study, your family can follow a patient as he completes a night in the Sleep Lab.
Most sleep studies are completed at night. They typically start between 7 pm and finish between 5:30 and 6 am. Physicians are not present during the study. During a sleep study, the sleep technologist will place sensors on your child’s body to record a number of different body functions. These sensors are not invasive and do not break the skin. They are used to monitor:
Breathing patterns, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels
Heart rate and rhythm
The sleep technologist will also record your child, using both audio and video, to watch how your child sleeping pattern and assess and hear your child’s breathing and snoring during sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Studies
Wash your child’s hair thoroughly the night before or morning of the sleep study. Don’t use oil, gel or hairspray. Reassure your child that you will stay with him or her through the whole test and that nothing should hurt.
You will want to bring any items your child will need during the night, such as pajamas, a favorite pillow and blanket, a bottle or pacifier and any medications. You may also want to bring a DVD of a favorite movie so your child can watch it while we’re getting him or her ready.
If your child is having an overnight study, one parent or responsible caregiver must stay with your child. We are only able to accommodate one parent or caregiver. You may want to bring pajamas and other personal items for yourself.
If you child is using CPAP, Bi-level or any other device assisting with breathing at night (except for oxygen concentrator), please, bring this device along with the mask and the power cord to the study to verify settings.
Please do not let your child sleep in or take extra naps on the day of the study — especially not right before the visit. Your child can eat before the study, but should void caffeinated drinks or chocolate.
The technologist will apply the study sensors on your child. After the technologist gets your child ready for the study, they will dim the lights and let your child go to sleep. You will stay in the room with your child. The technologist may enter the room during the night to make adjustments, but usually won’t have to wake your child up. In the morning, the technologist will wake your child and remove the sensors. Most families leave by 6 a.m.
A doctor in the sleep center will interpret the results of your child’s sleep study and sends preliminary results to the doctor who ordered the study and to certain other doctors involved in your child’s care within 24 to 72 hours. We usually send out the full report within one week. Technologists do not give their impressions or preliminary results before the physician interprets the study.
Find more important details about sleep studies in our informational handouts: English | Español
Make an Appointment
If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our Sleep Medicine specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) or visit our Appointments page for more information.
Telemedicine appointments are now available, in addition to regular clinical visits. Telehealth visits allow patients to access a sleep specialist from the comfort of their own home. To see if your pediatric needs can be met virtually, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®).
Before your first appointment, we ask that you print and fill out our New Patient Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire, and bring it with you to the appointment.
Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids by Dennis Rosen, MD, presents the latest scientific discoveries about sleep. It provides helpful information on proven ways to help your child get a better night's sleep and feel more refreshed and alert during the day.
Ellie the Elephant has a Sleep Study by Christy Beckwith, helps give you and your child an idea of what to expect on the night of your first sleep study. It is available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
Lurie Children’s is affiliated with Northwestern University. Medical trainees from Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital are training in the area of children's sleep and may be present during your child's visit.
Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.227.7500.