Just What the Doctor Ordered: Restful Nights Thanks to Emerson Sleep Studies


Alice Leppo was four years old when her parents suspected she might suffer from sleep issues. She snored very loudly and woke up in the morning tired and cranky. Her parents took her to see a pediatric ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist who recommended a sleep study at Emerson. A sleep study is a series of tests to help diagnose sleep disorders.

This would be Alice’s first experience staying overnight at a hospital, and her parents wanted her to be well-prepared. Her mother, Marissa Leppo of Burlington, recalls:

“Everyone at Emerson made it a smooth and positive experience. Before her study, Vicky, a child life specialist, called us to explain everything and helped make Alice’s overnight a fun adventure. When we arrived, everyone made Alice feel very special. There was a stuffed bear for her on the bed, and they gave her an amazing bag of goodies. When Jillian, the sleep technician, set Alice up and put the electrodes on her, she was very gentle and provided appropriate explanations for a young child. I slept right next to Alice all night. The test was very much worth it.”

Better Nights for Alice

Gary Stanton, MD, director of Emerson’s Sleep Center, examined Alice’s study and diagnosed her with severe sleep apnea. Her ENT determined she needed her tonsils and adenoids removed. After recovering from surgery, Alice went back to Emerson for a follow-up sleep study to make sure the procedure was successful.

“It definitely was. Alice is now sleeping much better, she is less cranky, and everyone in our family is very grateful she is getting the sleep she needs. The experience at Emerson could not have been any better.”

If You Struggle with Sleep

Emerson’s Sleep Center specializes in expert diagnostic testing and treatment for the full range of sleep problems for all ages, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder.

Emerson’s sleep studies take place during your regular sleeping hours. Electrodes monitor your brain waves, eye movements, oxygen levels, breathing patterns, heart rate, leg movements, blood pressure, and more while you sleep. A trained sleep technician will be with you during the testing period, and the test is pain free. Clinicians specially trained in sleep medicine assess test results in order to treat sleep issues.


Common reasons for a sleep study include:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Sleep apnea (periods when you stop breathing during sleep)
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep)
  • Narcolepsy (feeling sleepy during the day and falling asleep without warning)
  • Limb movement disorders (conditions that cause leg discomfort, including restless leg syndrome)

You may also need a sleep study if you have unusual behaviors during sleep, such as sleep walking or talking.

Emerson offers inpatient sleep studies for people ages two and up, and at-home sleep studies for qualifying adult patients. Visit emersonhospital.org/sleepcenter or call 978-287-3737 for information and to schedule a consult.