Pediatric Multiple Sleep Latency Test

What Is A Multiple Sleep Latency Test?  How Is It Conducted?

In addition to overnight testing, the sleep medicine specialist doctor may order a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) for your child. This test measures how long it takes your child to fall asleep. It also determines whether he/she enters REM sleep.  This test is performed during the day, immediately following the overnight sleep study.

If you cannot stay for the MSLT portion of the study, please call to reschedule both the night and daytime study. An overnight study must be done immediately before the MSLT to ensure the accuracy of the MSLT results.

The MSLT consists of four or five "naps."  These naps are conducted every two hours, with the first nap beginning approximately 1½ - 2 hours after the child has been awakened from the overnight sleep study. The sensors attached to the head, eyes and chin will remain in place for the daytime study. Every two hours the child will be asked to lie down and try to go to sleep.

This test provides the necessary data for the diagnosis of some types of sleep disorders that are not detectable with the overnight study. It assists the sleep medicine specialist doctor in determining the severity of the sleep disorder by assessing the degree of your child’s daytime sleepiness and its effect on your child's daytime functioning.

Please bring something to occupy your child’s attention between naps.  We encourage you to bring homework, books, movies, board games or hand-held video games.  Cable TV is provided in each room. A parent or guardian can be in the room with the child between the naps, but the room must remain quiet.

A regular breakfast and lunch without caffeine will be provided for you and your child. Your child may eat and drink as normal for the study with the exception of NO caffeine or chocolate. You are welcome to bring snacks or drinks with you from home.  As with the overnight study, if your child is taking any special medications, please check with your child's doctor to see if any changes should be made for the purpose of the study.

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