Pediatric Sleep Study: What to Expect

The pediatric sleep medicine team at Rush University Children’s Hospital specializes in performing sleep studies on children of all ages — from babies to young adults. Your child’s care team will work with you and your child to answer any questions and to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

The equipment we use, including sensors and monitoring machines, are painless. Most children tolerate the study very well.

You or another caregiver must remain with your child for the full night of the study. We will give you a recliner that flattens into a bed in the same room with your child.

Arriving for the sleep study

  • Please arrive at the Admitting/Registration Desk on the 4th floor of the Atrium Building by 7:30 p.m. (unless your child’s provider has given you different instructions) to check-in for your child’s sleep study.
  • The Unit Clerk will greet you and show you to your child’s private room.
  • You will need to complete some paperwork.
  • Your child will have a chance to change into pajamas.
  • Your child’s sleep technologist will place sensors (small discs called electrodes) onto your child’s skin. This is a painless process. The sensors will help monitor your child’s sleep, including brain activity, breathing and more.
  • Your child will be able to move, roll over and change positions while wearing the sensors.
  • If your child is doing a treatment study, they will wear a mask. Your child’s sleep technologist will help your child put on the mask and get comfortable with it before starting the study.
  • Throughout the night, your child’s sleep technologist will monitor your child’s sleep.
  • The study will be complete by approximately 6 a.m.
  • You and your child will be able to go home after the study is over.

After your child’s study, please call (312) 942-3034 to make an appointment with your child’s care provider to discuss the results of the study and the next steps in your child’s care plan.

How to prepare

What to avoid:

  • Caffeine: On the day of the study, your child should not have any caffeine (e.g., coffee, chocolate, soda) after 12 p.m.
  • Naps: If your child is 5 years or older, try not give them a daytime nap before the overnight study.

What to bring:

  • Your child’s insurance card/information
  • Your own photo ID
  • Pajamas for your child
  • Diapers or pullups, if your child needs them
  • A favorite stuffed animal, blanket or toy that helps your child feel comfortable
  • Personal hygiene products for you and your child (e.g., toothbrush, soap, hair brush)
  • Any medications and/or medical equipment as advised by your healthcare provider


  • Please eat dinner and give your child dinner prior to coming to the hospital for the sleep study. You can bring a snack for your child and for yourself.
  • Please bring any formula or special foods that your child needs overnight.


  • Please shampoo and blow-dry your child’s hair prior to coming to the hospital for the sleep study. Please do not use any hairspray, oil or gel in your child’s hair.


  • If you are unable to make it for any reason, please contact the clinic as soon as possible in order to reschedule your child for the next available date.
  • Please call (312) 942-3034 during daytime hours (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) if you know that your child may not be able to attend the sleep study for any reason.
  • You should reschedule your child’s sleep study if your child has a fever, is vomiting or is not feeling well.
  • If you are unsure if you need to reschedule the study, please call us to discuss your child’s illness.