Special investigations

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These depend on the nature of the sleep problem. The indications for polysomnography are essentially the same as for adults. The use in children of the Multiple Sleep Latency Test as an objective measure of sleepiness is hampered by the absence of good normative data at different ages. A mean sleep latency greater than 10 to 15 min with no REM sleep onset is generally considered normal in prepubertal children. However, in the presence of sleep disorders usually characterized by excessive sleepiness, Multiple Sleep Latency Test results can be normal in late childhood because of the naturally enhanced daytime wakefulness at that age.

Actigraphy, which provides information unobtrusively on basic sleep-wake patterns, is well established for children of all ages.

Other possible measures include toxic screening and the tests mentioned earlier.

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