Sleep – Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre

Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre is Victoria’s only dedicated children’s sleep centre and laboratory providing consultations and sleep studies for all paediatric sleep problems.

Phone: (03) 8572 3592 or (03) 8572 3593

 To support Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre (MCSC) is Victoria’s only dedicated children’s sleep centre and laboratory providing consultations and sleep studies for all paediatric sleep problems.

The Adamson Sleep Laboratory has four overnight sleep bedrooms and provides sleep services for infants, children and teenagers.

Our expert team performs nearly 1000 sleep studies on patients a year.

Associate Professor Margot Davey is director of the centre which is staffed by consultant sleep and respiratory paediatricians, sleep scientists and nurses experienced in the diagnosis and management of all paediatric sleep disorders.

The MCSC is located in the new Monash Children’s Hospital, Ward 4E , Level 4, and operates Monday to Friday. Home overnight oximetry is offered Monday to Friday.


What is a sleep study? 

A sleep study is used to investigate:

  • snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea
  • abnormalities in the control of breathing
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • unexplained nocturnal waking
  • monitoring ventilatory support.

Sleep studies or polysomnography involve the continuous measurement of physiological parameters related to sleep and breathing. These include oronasal air flow, oximetry, TcCO2 and/or exp CO2, respiratory and abdominal effort, EEG (electroencephalogram), EOG (electrooculogram), EMG (electromyogram), and ECG (electrocardiogram). Information regarding sleep architecture and quality, and ventilation and respiratory patterns, is obtained.

A sleep study is performed as an outpatient procedure, with the child (and parent/caregiver) coming to the unit at 7:30pm and leaving the next morning.

Patients must be seen by a sleep physician before a sleep study can be ordered.

A home oximetry service is also offered by the MCSC as part of the assessment of children with obstructive sleep apnoea.

Non-invasive ventilation

Nocturnal non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is required by some children to maintain their airway and normalize their breathing patterns when they are asleep.

Children who have ongoing obstruction to their upper airway despite surgery to remove adenoids and tonsils, or children who are weak due to a variety of medical conditions, may experience problems breathing and maintaining normal oxygen levels overnight. These groups of children may benefit from NIV which involves the use of a mask that is placed on the child’s face which is connected by tubing to a machine.

The most common form of NIV is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and is used to treat children who have obstructive sleep apnoea. This involves using a machine or pump to deliver room air through tubing to a mask on the child’s face. The delivery of low pressure air keeps the airway open and results in improved sleep and ventilation during the night.

Children who suffer from neuromuscular weakness may require another type of machine to help them breathe when they are asleep.

The mask can sit either over the nose or mouth or both, and is kept in place by small head straps.

Starting a child on NIV requires experienced staff to educate both the child and the family, and to individualize a management plan for ongoing treatment. Generally a sleep study is required to optimize the machine pressures to normalize a child’s sleep and breathing patterns.

Research 

We also conduct ongoing research studies to help provide better outcomes for children and improved treatments. Our partnership with Monash University’s Ritchie Centre over the past decade has resulted in $5 million of government funding to help fund 90 research studies.

To read about our research and how you can take part see here.

For our research publications see here.

Expertise and services

Services 

Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre runs the following services:

  1. Outpatient assessment and consultation
  2. Overnight sleep studies
  3. Home oximetry service
  4. Non-invasive ventilation service
  5. Home apnoea monitor program

Clinical problems we look after include:

  • Sleep Disordered Breathing
    • Obstructive sleep apnoea
    • Apnoea of infancy
    • Hypoventilation
  • Initiating and Maintaining Non-invasive Ventilation
  • Behavioural Sleep Problems
    • Bedtime struggles
    • Night wakings
  • Parasomnias
    • Night terrors
    • Sleep walking
  • Insomnia and Circadian Rhythm Disorders
  • Narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness

Appointments

To make an appointment you will need a letter of referral from a doctor (GP, paediatrician, ENT surgeon etc).

For an appointment you can call (03) 9594 2900 or fax to (03) 8572 3878.

For general enquiries call (03) 8572 3592 or (03) 8572 3593.

Information for patients and families

To make an appointment with the sleep clinics at the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre (MCSC) you will need a letter of referral from a doctor (GP, paediatrician, ENT surgeon etc).

At the medical appointment it will be decided whether your child will need a sleep study. All sleep studies are performed at MCSC which is a four bed paediatric unit based at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, that services Victoria and Tasmania.

A sleep study involves measuring your child’s sleep and breathing patterns which requires sticking small wires and electrodes onto your child’s head and chest.
There are no needles involved and it does not hurt.

It takes around an hour to prepare the child for monitoring overnight, and families are encouraged to bring items that will make the child feel more at ease (special toy, videos or DVD’s, pyjamas, pillows etc).

A sleep study is performed as an outpatient procedure, with the child (and parent) coming to the unit at 7:30pm and leaving the next morning between 6:30am and 7:30am.
The sleep unit operates five nights a week, Monday to Friday.

Each family is allocated one of four bedrooms with a parent/caregiver expected to spend the night with the child, and a bed is provided for them to sleep in.

Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre does not provide inpatient care for mother–baby sleep problems unless related to breathing issues. For Victorian services that do help with mother-baby sleep problems, see here.

Document download 

Other useful resources:

Media reports:

Referrals

To refer a patient, please complete the appropriate form below and return as each individual form instructs:

Head of Unit: Associate Professor Margot Davey

Research

We also conduct ongoing research studies to help provide better outcomes for children and improved treatments. Our partnership with Monash University’s Ritchie Centre over the past decade has resulted in $5 million of government funding to help fund 90 research studies.

To read about our research and how you can take part see here.

For our research publications see here.

2018

  1. VANDELEUR M, WALTER LM, ARMSTRONG D ROBINSON P NIXON GM HORNE RSC. Quality of life and mood in children with cystic fibrosis; associations with sleep quality. J Cystic Fibrosis 17(6):811-820, 2018.
  2. TAMANYAN K, WALTER LM, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, BIGGS SN, HORNE RSC. Age effects on cerebral oxygenation and behavior in children with sleep disordered breathing. AJRCCM 197(11):1468-1477, 2018.
  3. HORNE RSC, SUN S, YIALLOUROU SR, FYFE K, ODOI A, WONG FY. Comparison of the longitudinal effects of persistent periodic breathing and apnoea on cerebral oxygenation in term and preterm-born infants. J Physiology 596(23):6021-6031, 2018.
  4. WALTER LM, TAMANYAN K, NISBET LC, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC. Obesity and anthropometric determinants of autonomic control in children with sleep disordered breathing – which measurements matter? International Journal of Obesity 42(6):1195-1201, 2018.
  5. WALTER LM, TAMANYAN K, LIMAWAN AP, BIGGS SN, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC. Overweight and obese children with sleep disordered breathing have elevated arterial stiffness. Sleep Medicine 48:187-193, 2018.
  6. SOH HJ, ROWE K, DAVEY MJ, HORNE RSC, NIXON GM. The OSA-5: Development and validation of a brief questionnaire screening tool for obstructive sleep apnea in children. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 113:62-66, 2018.
  7. SHEPHERD K, YIALLOUROU SR, ODOI A, BREW N, YEOMANS E, WILLIS S, HORNE RSC, WONG FY Effects of Prone Sleeping on Cerebral Oxygenation in Preterm Infants. J Pediatr. 2019 Jan;204:103-110.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.08.076. Epub 2018 Oct 5.
  8. WALTER LM, AHMED B, COONEY H, FERNANDEZ MZ, HORNE RSC, WONG FY. Bradycardias are associated with significant falls in cerebral oxygenation in both very early and late preterm infants. Early Human Develpoment. 127:33-41, 2018.

Reviews

  1. SHEPHERD KL, YIALLOUROU SR, HORNE RSC, WONG FY. Prone sleeping position in infancy: Implications for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function. Sleep Medicine Reviews 39:174-186, 2018
  2. HORNE RSC Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in sudden infant death syndrome. Clinical Autonomic Research 2018 Jan 3. doi: 10.1007/s10286-017-0490-y. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. BENNET L, WALKER DW, HORNE RSC. Waking up too early – the consequences of preterm birth on sleep development. J Physiology 596(23):5687-5708, 2018.
  4. WALTER LM, WIJAYARATNE P, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC.  Sleep and sleep disordered breathing in children with Down syndrome: effects on behaviour, neurocognition and the cardiovascular system. Sleep Medicine Reviews 44:1-11, 2018.
  5. WALTER LM, HORNE RSC. The impact of obstructive sleep disordered breathing on the brain in children. Invited review. Pediatric Respirology and Critical Care Medicine 2:58-64, 2018.

2019

  1. WALTER LM, TAMANYAN K, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC. Sleep disordered breathing in children disrupts the normal maturation of autonomic control of heart rate and its association with cerebral oxygenation. J Physiol. 597(3):819-830, 2019.
  2. THOMAS B, THILLAINATHAN K, DELAHUNTY M, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, WALTER LM, HORNE RSC. Cardiovascular Autonomic Control Is Altered in Children Born Preterm with Sleep Disordered Breathing. J Pediatr. 206:83-90, 2019.
  3. TAMANYAN K, WALTER LM, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, BIGGS SN, HORNE RSC. The impact of central and obstructive respiratory events on cerebral oxygenation in children with sleep disordered breathing. Sleep 2019 Feb 20. pii: zsz044. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz044. [Epub ahead of print].
  4. WALTER LM, TAMANYAN K, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, BIGGS SN, HORNE RSC. Age and autonomic control, but not cerebral oxygenation, are significant determinants of EEG spectral power in children. Sleep. 2019 Jun 10. pii: zsz118. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz118. [Epub ahead of print].
  5. WALTER LM, TAMANYAN K, NISBET LC, DAVEY MJ, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC. Pollen levels on the day of polysomnography influence the severity of sleep disordered breathing in children with allergic rhinitis. Sleep Breath. 2019 Mar 5. doi: 10.1007/s11325-019-01819-1. [Epub ahead of print].
  6. HARMAN K, WEICHARD A, DAVEY MJ, HORNE, RSC, NIXON GM, EDWARDS BA. Assessing ventilatory control stability in children with and without an elevated central apnea index. Respirology 2019 May 30. doi: 10.1111/resp.13606. [Epub ahead of print].
  7. CHAN M, WONG TCH, WEICHARD A, WALTER LM, NIXON GM, HORNE RSC Sleep macro-architecture and micro-architecture in children born preterm with sleep disordered breathing. Pediatric Research 2019 Jun 13. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0453-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Reviews

  1. HORNE RSC. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Invited Review. Intern Med J. 2019 Apr;49(4):433-438. doi: 10.1111/imj.14248.

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