Arousals from sleep and consequent sleep disruption may be a causal link between sleep-disordered breathing and its sequellae in children. Quantification of arousals therefore makes an important contribution to the overall assessment of the sleep of a child with suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other sleep disorders. Arousals are classically defined by changes in the electroencephalographic (EEG) channels, but most arousals in children involve body movement in addition to EEG changes. Several methods of quantifying arousals without the use of EEG have been proposed, with the aim of simplifying testing in children with suspected OSA so that it can be safely and efficiently performed in the child's home. The following paper gives a background to the assessment of arousals from sleep in children, and describes methods for detecting arousals and their potential application to recordings performed in a child's home.
- Ambulatory monitoring