Beyond Achondroplasia

Growing together with Clara

Overnight sleep study – level 1


A sleep study type 1 is a painless test done in a sleep center of hospital that records the brain waves, heart beat, and breathing during sleep. It also records eye and leg movements as well as muscle tension.

It is one of the studies for the close follow-up of achondroplasia in babies and children.


This was Clara´s fourth sleep test. The other three were at home sleep studies, without the ECG component. This time, I spent a full night in the hospital with her. We arrived around 8.30pm at the hospital and after some time to prepare all the material, a technician started to place the sensors  around 10pm. At first, the technician placed the ECG (electroencephalogram) on Clara´s head: two on the forehead, two on the back, two on the top, one behind each ear, two at the both of the head, one near each external eye corner and two on the chin. This sensors were placed on the correct places with a conductive gel. The technician had to apply considerable force in the sensors to fix them in place. The recording of brain waves and eye movements allow the sleep physicians to stage the depth of the sleep and detect REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Clara also had two sensors on each leg, one sensor in each chest side and bands around the chest to measure expansions/contractions, nasal cannula and a pulse oxymeter in her foot. And this last sensor gave us a major headache.


To distract her, the cellphone was a big help.


The wired ponytail

It was quite hard to get her to sleep. She was so alert that she just wanted to climb her crib!


Around 11.45pm, Clara started to sleep, at last

The sensor of the pulse oxymeter placed in her foot wasn´t working properly when the sleep test started, around, 11.30pm. So, the technician that was with us, trying to change the connection of this sensors with the receptor placed over her, but we weren´t getting nothing from all those changes. The time was passing by and the test would be pointless without the pulse oxymeter data. After a long (endless) change in sensors, the technician went to another hospital division and came with a good sensor. It was 1:30 am at that point. !!! Finally, it was time to get some sleep.Clara woke up once, around 4 am. She breastfed for 5 minutes and when back to sleep. I went to bed wishing for the morning to arrive!

The morning after, she woke up with such a good humor! The first thing I did was to remove the ECG sensors of her chin and uncover her face!!! It was so good for both of us.



Now, we just need to wait for the test report. If it´s good, Clara would have to use the CPAP machine in the near future.


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »