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Sleep Medicine: Having a Sleep Study
How a Sleep Disorder Diagnosis is Made
Our sleep centers have specially trained sleep physicians available for consultation to determine the course of action needed to treat your symptoms.
You may be asked to fill out a questionaire and a diary reviewing your sleep patterns, lifestyle, and health history. The specialist may review , with your permission, what has been noticed while you sleep with a bed partner or family member to determine the best course of action. The sleep specialist or your physician, after a consultation, may order a polysomnogram or sleep study to help identify and diagnose a sleep disorder.
Sleeping in the Sleep Disorders Center
If the physician has ordered a sleep study at our facilities, some instructions will be given:
If you come down with a cold or illness the night or your study, please call to reschedule.
Bathe and wash your hair before coming to the sleep center. Don’t use lotions, oils, or makeup as small sensors are placed on the surface of the skin to monitor heart rate, brain waves, oxygen levels, and movement.
You can eat a normal meal. No alcohol or caffeine at least six hours before your appointment.
Try not to nap the day or your study, if possible.
Bring something comfortable to sleep in (no satin pajamas). You will have a private room. If there is a pillow that you cannot sleep without, you may bring it with you but there are pillows available. Fans and extra blankets are available for you along with TV, radio or sound machine, if needed.
Bring any medications that you might need to take during the night, including Tums, Tylenol, nasal sprays, or sleeping aids. You can take you regular medications before arriving unless they make you too sleepy to drive and then just bring them with and let the technician know what you have to take upon arrival.
If you eat a snack or drink something special during the night other than water, please bring it with you.
What to expect during a Sleep Study
Our sleep technicians are skilled professionals who will review with you what is going to occur during your time in the Sleep Disorders Center. They will explain what the sensors are for and what is going to occur. They may review with you what happened during the time before you arrived to determine if you are sleepy enough to fall asleep. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to review them with the technician. During the study, the sleep technicians monitor brain waves, eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, oxygen level, snoring and body movement.
Feel free to roll over and change positions. If you have any concerns, need to use the restroom or need a blanket, call out or wave for the sleep technician. They are able to view you on a camera and hear you if anything is needed to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
In the morning, the sensors will be removed and you will be free to leave. You may take a shower before leaving or wait until you get home. You may bring a hat to wear since there will be sensor paste in the hair until washed.
Remember not to drive or operate machinery if sleepy. If unable to drive home, let the technician know so that arrangements can be made.
During the study, if sleep apnea is diagnosed, the technician may come into the room and place you on CPAP. This is a device that provides continuous positive air pressure by a mask that is placed over your nose. All of this will be reviewed with you before going to bed and lights out so that you are comfortable with what is going to occur that night.
The sleep technician reviews the data after the sleep study and completes a report for the physician.
The sleep specialist physician reviews the data collected along with the report and makes his recommendations.
You will need a follow-up appointment with the physician to discuss treatment options. These options could depend on the diagnosis. For sleep apnea, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or Autopap may be the most effective treatments available. Other options include oral appliances, sleep aids, changes to the sleep environment, medications, and recommendations for improved sleep hygiene, weight loss and surgery.
Most health insurance companies will cover the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. We always encourage patients to check with their insurance companies on coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.