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Sleep Service

sleeping girl

Sheffield Children’s Sleep Service is a specialist centre for children’s sleep medicine, one of the largest in the UK. We work with children aged between one to 16 years of age with chronic sleep disorders, who have already been seen by their GP or at another hospital.

We diagnose and treat a wide range of childhood sleep disorders including:

  • chronic childhood insomnia
  • parasomnias, including sleep walking and night terrors
  • movement disorders in sleep
  • circadian rhythm disorders
  • sleep disordered breathing
  • narcolepsy and cataplexy

Sleep studies

After your child’s initial assessment, we may need to carry out further tests. These can include:

  • polysomnography – a sleep study to measure your child’s sleep cycles and stages while asleep. Generally done to find out if someone is breathing normally when asleep or to investigate unusual events occurring during sleep.
  • multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT)
  • respiratory polygraphy
  • blood tests 

Some of our tests can be done at home. These include:

  • actigraphy
  • home oximetry – a recording of the oxygen saturation and heart rate with a soft probe taped on the finger or the foot.

Sleep House

We have a five bedroomed Sleep House with sleep laboratory beds. If your child needs a sleep study, you will be sent a full information pack.

The Sleep House is open Sunday to Thursday from 6.30pm – 7.30am for overnight sleep studies, and Monday to Wednesday during the day for clinics.

Staying at the Sleep House

Our quiet study bedrooms have a patient bed or cot, a fold-down bed and linen for parents/carers and an en-suite shower room.

Meals and drinks

We advise you to have your evening meal before coming to the Sleep House, as your arrival time will be after the hospital meal time of 5pm.

We provide take out breakfast packs on discharge for your child as the canteen does not open until 8am.

Staying overnight with your child

We ask that a parent or carer stay over with the patient if at all possible. Once your child has all of the sensors attached, they are unable to get out of bed. The reassurance of a parent or carer will help them sleep better in this environment.

Preparing your child for the procedure

If your child is old enough to understand, then it is important to explain what is likely to happen as much as possible.

What to bring

  • Nightwear for your child. Pyjamas are best for placement of the sensors and please bring some socks to cover the sensors on the toe.
  • All of your child’s medications, inhalers, Epi-pens that you will need during the overnight stay. If applicable, please bring overnight feeds and pumps, apnoea alarms, CPAP or BIPAP machines, any other routine medical equipment or devices used at home. Please make the physiology team aware of any other health needs before you accept the appointment.  The Sleep House is away from the Sheffield Children’s Hospital site, and has no access to any equipment, medications or pharmacy
  • Anything that will help your child relax before and after the procedure such as a favourite toy, book, game, DVD, or teddy bear.

Clinics

Consultant-led sleep clinics are held in the Outpatients Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and at the Northern General Hospital. Please check carefully which location your appointment is at.

Nurse-led sleep clinics are held at the Sleep House. Narcolepsy clinics are held in the Outpatients Department at the Northern General Hospital.

Sleep Clinic (nurse-led)

Sometimes our consultants ask for patients to be booked into the nurse-led sleep clinic.

If this happens our appointments team will arrange your clinic appointment and this will be sent out in the post. The nurse-led sleep clinics are on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at the Sleep House.

First clinic appointment

The first clinic appointment is planned to last up to one hour. During this appointment the specialist sleep nurse will take a very detailed story of your child’s bedtime routine, sleep patterns and daytime activities.

Following appointments

After the first clinic appointment the specialist sleep nurse will make a follow-up plan and discuss it with the Sleep Consultant. Your child will then be followed up in the nurse-led sleep clinic every one to two weeks usually up to 6 months of support.

Each telephone follow-up clinic visit lasts 30 minutes.

What to bring with you

Please bring the names of any medication that your child is taking. Any other information, sleep diaries or recordings of your child’s sleep can also sometimes be useful.

Contact us

If you are unable to come in for the sleep clinic appointment that has been arranged for you, please ring our appointments line on 0114 305 3139 as soon as possible so that this clinic appointment can be offered to someone else as availability for the specialist clinic is very limited.

If you require more information or have any questions about your clinic visit, please email the specialist sleep nurse team on scn-tr.sleepnurses@nhs.net or phone 0114 3053139 and leave a message with your child’s hospital number and contact number on the answer phone and we will return your phone call/email as soon as possible.

Narcolepsy Clinic (nurse-led)

First clinic appointment

The first clinic appointment is planned to last up to one hour. During this appointment the specialist sleep nurse will take a very detailed story of your child’s sleep patterns. This is to talk about ways we may be able to improve sleep routines and coping with narcolepsy at school. Your child will then be reviewed by one of our consultants to go through medication and any other multidisciplinary team support needed.

Following appointments

After the first clinic appointment the specialist sleep nurse will make a follow-up plan and will also be available for phone calls in between the clinic visits which can be 3 to 6 monthly to provide ongoing support.

The specialist nurse will update the Narcolepsy and Psychology teams, and appointments will be booked for your child.

What to bring with you

Please bring the names of any medication that your child is taking. Any other information including contact details of links with school can also be useful to bring.

Contact us

If you are unable to come in for the sleep clinic appointment that has been arranged for you, please ring our appointments line on 0114 305 3139 as soon as possible so that this clinic appointment can be offered to someone else as availability for the specialist clinic is very limited.

If you require more information or have any questions about your clinic visit, please email the Narcolepsy team on scn-tr.narcolepsy@nhs.net or ring 0114 3053139 and leave a message with patient hospital number and contact number on the email/answer phone and we will return your phone call as soon as possible.

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