A new study developed by Boston University School of Medicine proposed that children that might suffer from symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing like snoring or temporary cessation of breathing can undergo a sleep study called polysomnography.
Polysomnography is a comprehensive test used to diagnose sleeping disorders. The study records ones’ brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing as well as eye and leg movements. Using this collected data, sleeping disorders can be diagnosed and treatment plans can be coordinated.
Sleep-disordered breathing is common in children and can range from mild snoring to severe sleep apnea, to treat these conditions doctors immediately recommend surgeries like adenotonsillectomy which is the removal of both the adenoids and tonsils. Through polysomnography, the severity of the child’s condition can be found out and maybe managed through medicine alone.
A study was performed on patients aged 2 to 18 suffering from sleep-disordered breathing from the years 2012 to 2018. During this study, the patients underwent polysomnography to diagnose their sleeping disorders and to determine its severity. It was found that from all the patients that underwent the study, 44.7% of the children who would have had to have surgery actually had normal sleep studies.
Polysomnography can help doctors come up with specific treatment plans for children suffering from sleep-disordered breathing. The sleep study also serves as a boon for parents who might not have to spend money on surgeries if the disorder can be easily treated.
Sleep studies also allow the evaluation and elimination of potential threats that the child might go through if their sleeping disorder remains untreated like heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and depression.
How is a sleep study conducted?
Polysomnography takes place at hospitals or sleep clinics where one is monitored by a technician while they sleep. This technician records the patient's heart rate, breathing, eye movement and brain waves by placing small sensors called electrodes on the patient’s scalp, temple, chest and legs. The sleep study is concluded once the patient wakes up and they can then carry on with their day while the recorded data is evaluated by a doctor.
Written by Iba Inam
Iba is a sleep enthusiast who loves bucket hats and cat memes. You can get in touch with her via email!