Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Sleep terrors are usually self-diagnosed. Your doctor may do a physical or psychological exam to identify any conditions that may be contributing to the sleep terrors. In some cases, a sleep study in an overnight sleep lab may be recommended.

Sleep studies

To participate in a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, usually requires spending the night in a sleep lab. Sensors that send electrical signals are placed on various parts of the body, and a chip will be attached to a finger. A video camera will record your sleep. Throughout the night, the sensors will record your:

  • Heartbeat
  • Brain waves
  • Breathing
  • Eye movements
  • Leg movements
  • Muscle tension
  • Blood oxygen level

Your doctor will review the information to determine whether you or your child have any sleep disorders.

Aug. 12, 2011