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What to Expect | Overview

We can help you and your child get ready for your appointment at the Sleep Center, regardless of age or sleep issue.

Gathering 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. To download our sleep log click here.

Your first visit will last about an hour. You and your child will meet with a nurse practitioner trained in sleep medicine or an attending physician who is a board-certified sleep specialist. Because we are a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School, a sleep fellow or medical trainee may accompany your child's doctor or nurse practitioner.

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

If you are coming to our laboratory for a sleep study (sometimes called 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.

Our Sleep Studies page explains many of the different kinds of tests we do in the Sleep Lab.

A new book, Ellie the Elephant has a Sleep Study, written by our former sleep technologist 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.