EEG of a child’s sleep: indications, procedure, results

Why does the baby twitch in a dream? Sleeping badly? Wakes up several times a night with a strong cry? These are common questions that parents come to see a pediatric neurologist. Sometimes the answer lies literally on the surface, and the prescribed treatment immediately helps. However, most often, a comprehensive examination is required to determine the cause. One of its items is the EEG of a baby’s sleep.

Medical certificate

Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a study of the bioelectric potentials of the brain. The most informative results from this procedure can be obtained in a dream. This allows:

  • detect convulsive activity;
  • identify the affected central nervous system;
  • establish the stage of the disease;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.

During the procedure, the patient wears a special cap with many sensors. From them, information is sent to a computer monitor or printed on a tape, which visually resembles a cardiogram of the heart.

Quite often, EEG monitoring is prescribed for young children to evaluate brain function. A study during sleep talks about health much more than during wakefulness. This method is used today by doctors around the world.

EEG principle

Recording Methods

There are several options for conducting electroencephalography:

  1. A wake-up routine. Her help is usually resorted to for the initial diagnosis of the disease.
  2. EEG with the deprivation of night sleep. The patient is deprived of the opportunity to sleep all night, which makes it possible to detect latent convulsive activity.
  3. Recording during long daytime sleep. It is recommended in cases of suspicion of increased convulsive activity during falling asleep.
  4. Monitoring night sleep. This is the most informative diagnostic method. Sometimes it is accompanied by video shooting, a study of the state of the heart and the severity of muscle relaxation.

Some mental abnormalities cannot be seen on standard electroencephalography. During sleep, all changes actively manifest themselves.

Indications for the appointment of the procedure

As a prophylaxis, EEG is not performed. This examination method is prescribed in case of a violation of the functioning of the central nervous system of the child, which may manifest itself with the following symptoms:

  • restless sleep and repeated awakenings;
  • talking in a dream;
  • epilepsy attacks;
  • urinary incontinence (in children over 4 years old);
  • autism;
  • delayed speech / physical development.

The presence of one or several problems from the list above is an indication for a comprehensive examination of the body, conducting an EEG of a child’s sleep. Not always revealed mental disorders are fatal. In most cases, the disease can be cured, and the deviation can be corrected.

restless sleep in a child

Sleep deprivation in children

Sleep deprivation, or regular sleep deprivation, is a problem that not only adults but also children have to face.

In babies, it can be due to intrauterine lesions of the central nervous system, including birth injuries. In preschool children, deprivation is associated with attention deficit on the part of adults. We are talking about situations where a child, for example, is bought a lot of gifts, but at the same time they talk or walk with him a little. At school age, heightened anxiety associated with a new team, communication with peers, and assimilation of educational material comes to the fore.

Constant lack of sleep leads to health problems, the development of neurosis. Therefore, even at the initial stage, it is necessary to find out the causes of the disorder and begin therapy. Helps in this matter night EEG.

Study preparation

Examination of the body of a young patient is quite specific and requires special preparation. It is very difficult to make the baby sit in a hat with sensors on his head for 1-2 hours, if normal monitoring is carried out. Also, special efforts are required so that the child falls asleep for the procedure.

The study is rarely carried out at home. Usually a small patient is invited to a hospital or clinic where the rooms are specially equipped (dim lights, calm music, toys). On the part of parents, it is necessary not to give the child the full night's sleep.

If the EEG is prescribed from 8 to 10 in the morning, the baby should be woken up at 2 a.m. Mom and Dad should entertain him in every possible way and not let him go to bed again. This increases the likelihood of a successful procedure. For very young children, doctors advise to prepare a mixture or milk in advance so that the child falls asleep faster in the diagnostic room.

Drugs should not be given on the eve of the study. If there is an urgent need for them, you should inform your doctor about this. Otherwise, the results of the EEG of the child’s sleep will be distorted.

Particular attention should be paid to the issue of nutrition. A few days before the date of diagnosis, it is necessary to limit sweet and salty foods. You can not drink a lot of fluids and eat foods that can affect the stool. The diet should be familiar. If the child has colic or intestinal upset, you can forget about quality sleep.

Immediately before the procedure, it is recommended to wash the hair of a small patient well, remove the hairpins and elastic bands. You need to take wet wipes with you to wipe the gel from the head after EEG, which is applied under the sensors.

parents play with a child

EEG stages and techniques

How do EEG? The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. At the appointed time, parents come with their child. There is a comfortable bed in the study room on which he can sleep.

The doctor puts on a special cap with built-in sensors on the head of a small patient. From them, the signal through the wires goes through amplifiers to the encephalograph. EEG waves are so weak that the child practically does not feel them. The procedure itself is painless. During the study, parents should monitor the position of the patient's body so as not to distort the results of the study.

If in the office the child is naughty for a long time and cannot fall asleep, mom and dad should not worry and scream at him. This is a completely natural situation. Some are required to first run around, look around and explore new territory. Sooner or later, the baby will fall asleep, and a specialist will be able to diagnose.

conducting EEG sleep

Survey results

Normally, an EEG of sleep shows the work of the brain and the mental state of the child. According to its results, the presence of epilepsy, autism is determined. In addition, the doctor can talk about the causes of restless sleep, frequent awakenings.

In most cases, after identifying a problem, the small patient is sent for a consultation with a neurologist, where he receives treatment. After some time, it is recommended to re-examine to evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy. It is important to consider: with age, the EEG changes in children, as their activity increases, activities vary, etc.

parents talk with a doctor

Possible contraindications

Contraindications to conducting an EEG of a child’s sleep are minimal and include:

  • the presence of lice;
  • an allergy to the gel used during the procedure (found in exceptional cases);
  • infectious diseases in the acute stage.

A fever or cough is not a contraindication to the study. On the contrary, they are considered favorable for diagnosis, since the body is in conditions of additional stress. In case of deterioration in the medical institution there are always doctors who can provide the necessary assistance.

Method Advantages

Today, EEG is done both in Russia and abroad. This is not surprising, because this method of examination has many advantages:

  1. This is the only diagnostic method that can be used to evaluate the condition and functionality of the brain.
  2. The electroencephalogram can fully tell about the mental state of the patient, which is necessary for a correct diagnosis when abnormalities are detected.
  3. The procedure is absolutely safe for health. Therefore, they resort to her help even when examining newborn children.
  4. EEG is a painless procedure. During its implementation, injections or the introduction of tools for subsequent manipulations are not required.
    brain performance assessment

Where is electroencephalography performed?

If a child cries in a dream without waking up at the same time, or the baby has signs of autism, parents first turn to a neurologist or pediatrician. Any of these specialists, after studying complaints and the overall clinical picture, gives direction to EEG.

The procedure, in turn, is carried out in a hospital clinic. The study requires special equipment and trained specialists who monitor the position of the sensors and the patient himself throughout the entire diagnosis.

Service cost

The cost of the procedure varies by region. For example, on the periphery it is much lower. In Moscow or St. Petersburg, from 400 to 1,500 rubles will have to be paid for routine diagnostics. Night monitoring is more expensive (from 10 thousand rubles).

Parent reviews

The opinions of parents whose children have had an EEG of night sleep vary. However, in the majority they have a positive coloration. Moms and dads say that in the diagnostic room the medical staff tries to create the most comfortable environment for relaxation: dim lights, quiet and calm music, lack of bright objects.

In some cases, the doctors themselves are trying to calm and set the child up for the procedure. Of course, it’s quick to get in touch with school children. They tell the kids that the cap with the sensors is a superhero helmet or helmet for flying into space.

Separately, mention should be made of the results of the survey. Parents say that the EEG gives answers to literally all the questions. Based on the results of the procedure, the doctor can explain why the child does not sleep well, why he has a lag in speech or physical development. The treatment prescribed after treatment allows you to eliminate the ailment or adjust its manifestations.

healthy baby sleep

Negative reviews are usually associated with the high cost of the electroencephalogram. Free service can also be obtained, but the queue for recording is usually several weeks or even months. In some situations, you can’t hesitate, so parents agree to a paid procedure. After all, there is nothing more expensive than the health of your own child.


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