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Polysomnogram (PSG) Recording

About the Lab:

The Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at Kennedy Krieger Institute offers overnight sleep studies (polysomnograms, or PSGs), including combined PSG with video EEG, and also multiple sleep latency tests (MSLTs). Our technologists have extensive experience working with children with disabilities, and take pride in working with families to ensure the study is recorded properly. As a result, we have a high rate of success recording studies, even on children who have behavioral challenges. Our physicians are board-certified in pediatrics, child neurology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, sleep medicine, and clinical neurophysiology. They work with the referring doctor to get the most information out of the testing appointment, so that your child's doctor can make the most informed decisions possible.

Additional Information:
For Referring Doctors
For Parents (Information Packet)
Read the Sleep Study Story to help prepare your child for what to expect

About the PSG:

A PSG or polysomnogram is also known as an overnight sleep study. During a sleep study, we monitor and record many different body activities that occur during sleep, including brain activity, breathing and oxygen level. Below are answers to questions parents frequently have about the sleep study, as well as important instructions for parents and guardians of children who are going to have an overnight sleep study.

Instructions for Preparing for Your PSG:

Please read these instructions at least one day before your child's sleep study.

The Week Before the PSG

  • Keep your child on a regular sleep schedule.

The Morning of the PSG

  • Wash your child's hair. Do not use conditioner or other hair products. You could also wash your child's hair the night before. Conditioner and other hair products interfere with the recording. Remove any hairstyles that will interfere with attaching wires to the scalp (tight braids and corn rows are usually fine).
  • Keep your child on his or her regular sleep schedule. Do not sleep deprive your child to try to make him or her fall asleep faster.
  • Avoid sodas, chocolate and caffeine so that your child can fall asleep.
  • Encourage your child to eat, drink and take medications as usual, unless otherwise instructed.
  • The PSG is an outpatient procedure, so you will be responsible for the usual care of your child. Bring everything you need to care for your child (e.g., medications, formula, diapers, medical equipment and supplies). Also, bring anything you and your child need to feel comfortable staying overnight (pajamas, favorite stuffed animal, special pillow or blanket, storybooks, etc.). Meals are not provided.

Arriving at Kennedy Krieger

  • Please go to the 707 North Broadway building. This may be a different building than where you usually see your doctor. You may valet park. The guard at the security desk will tell you where to go next.
  • Patients must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times. Please do not bring other children with you. We can accommodate one parent/guardian overnight.

In the PSG Lab:

  • The technologist will come to get you and your child. When you arrive in the lab, you may play a video and relax.
  • The technologist will put many different monitors on your child. There are no needles. Most children can sleep well even wearing lots of monitoring.
  • The technologist will set up the monitoring before your child goes to sleep. If you have specific concerns about whether your child will be able to fall asleep wearing the monitoring, please feel free to discuss these with us before coming in for the test.
  • As part of the monitoring, the technologist will clean your child's scalp with a mild abrasive cream on a Q-Tip.
  • The technologist will apply the wires with a gel. This does not hurt.
  • Part of the monitoring will involve placement of a nasal cannula (narrow plastic tubing) a little way into your child's nostrils to monitor the air they breathe out. This does not hurt. Some children with sensory issues may find it uncomfortable.
  • You must stay with your child during the entire study.
  • We record audio and video of all patients having studies.
  • We do not use sedation or restraints.
  • When the study is over, the gel from the wires will usually stay in the hair. Your child will probably need to bathe at home in order to get the gel out of his/her hair.
  • If you are having an overnight study, the test usually ends between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. Patients and parents will need to depart just after the test is over.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please review the PSG Lab FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • Why would my doctor order an overnight sleep study?
  • Can non-KKI doctors order sleep studies at Kennedy Krieger?
  • What types of sleep studies do we perform?
  • How do I get results?
  • How do I get a copy of my sleep study?

If you have additional questions, please call Noel Grissinger at (443) 923-9170.

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