Referring Patients to the Sleep Lab

Patients eligible for a direct referral to the Sleep Lab

Some patients with straightforward medical conditions can be directly scheduled for a sleep study without needing to be seen in the Sleep Clinic first. The Sleep Clinic remains available to assess any patients upon request.

Otherwise healthy children in whom a PSG is indicated to evaluate for obstructive sleep apnea can be referred directly to the sleep lab. Specifically, this includes children:

  • Aged 6 months to 18 years of age
  • With snoring and suspected obstructive sleep apnea due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy or obesity, including those with insomnia or daytime sleepiness (EDS) as a non-primary diagnosis
  • With minor underlying medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, ADHD, and mild cerebral palsy

Patients who should be evaluated in Sleep Clinic prior to a sleep study

To ensure that the most appropriate study is ordered, some children should be evaluated in Sleep Clinic first. Specifically, this includes children:

  • Who are self-referred by their parents
  • Who have a primary diagnosis of daytime sleepiness (EDS) or insomnia
  • Aged < 6 months if otherwise healthy.
  • With complex medical conditions (e.g. neuromuscular, craniofacial anomalies), or on psychotropic meds that can affect sleep.
  • Who require a Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) or maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT).
  • Who require oxygen/CPAP/BiPAP/ventilators.

Exceptions to the above guidelines

Patients referred by certain CHOP subspecialists are able to proceed directly to the Sleep Lab, despite the Sleep Clinic guidelines listed above. These exceptions are as follows:

Developmental Peds
Complex Medical conditions, MSLT/MWT, O2/PAP/Vent

Psychotropic meds, MSLT/MWT, O2/PAP/Vent

Complex Medical conditions, O2/PAP/Vent

Psychotropic meds, MSLT/MWT, O2/PAP/Vent


For non-CHOP patients 18 years of age and older

For healthy patients ≥ 18 years of age (if not followed by CHOP subspecialist), please consider referring to an adult sleep lab (e.g. HUP Sleep Center, 800-789-PENN). If followed regularly at CHOP, please discuss directly with a Sleep Center physician to determine the most appropriate location (CHOP or HUP Sleep Lab).

Please note: Per accreditation standards, all PSG orders and requisitions are reviewed by a Sleep Center physician prior to the study to determine appropriateness of the study. A Sleep Center clinician or staff member may contact the family or the referring physician if it is recommended that the patient undergo clinical evaluation in the Sleep Clinic prior to the study. Sleep staff will also facilitate scheduling of the clinical appointment.

Procedure for scheduling a sleep study on a direct referral to the Sleep Lab

  1. Place order in EPIC or fax a Sleep requisition to the CHOP Sleep Lab. Requisitions are available on our website or can be faxed from our office.
  2. Include a clinic note or reference a recent inpatient stay, consult, or procedure that includes an H&P. Please include a contact number to reach the ordering clinician for urgent results.
  3. Clinicians are encouraged to email the Sleep Lab staff at for special scheduling inquiries or to request urgent sleep lab appointments.
  4. Please orient your patient to the sleep lab and the Polysomnography process. An informed patient and family have an easier time with this complex overnight study. Please see our website for more details on what it is like to have a sleep study.
  5. Please offer your patient and family the opportunity to tour the sleep lab prior to the study. Tours can be arranged by calling the Sleep Lab or may be done immediately for families who are here visiting CHOP clinics at the Main Hospital.

Additional considerations:

  • Children should be studied at their well baseline. Studies should not be performed if the patient is febrile, ill with viral symptoms, on new pain medications, or after recent surgery.
  • In order to minimize long wait times for scheduling, we ask that patients let the lab know in advance if they need to cancel or reschedule.
  • Please inform your patient that although we have a long wait list, patients can be moved up by calling the Sleep Lab early in the week to check for available openings due to cancellations. We encourage patients and providers to consider scheduling at our CHOP satellite sleep labs. Studies are performed and interpreted by qualified CHOP staff and sleep physicians.
  • Expect the results to be sent to the ordering clinician and to the patient’s primary physician within two weeks of the study via EPIC (within CHOP) or fax (non-CHOP). Results are not given directly to patients by Sleep Lab technicians, physicians or staff. In the case of urgent findings, the Sleep Lab physician may contact the ordering physician with results. The Sleep Lab physician is available to discuss results by pager or by calling the Sleep Lab.

Fax numbers

Sleep Clinic Fax: 215-590-3500

Sleep Lab Fax: 215-590-2632