Sleep Care

What is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study is a medical test performed while you sleep at night. This test is used to evaluate and diagnose a sleep disorder. Sleep studies are safe and noninvasive procedures that provide valuable information to your physician. Sleep studies are a covered benefit under most insurance plans. Our staff will contact your insurance company and arrange for payment.
Sleep studies are done on an outpatient basis, so you will not be admitted to the hospital. You will have a private room with a television and bathroom. The night will begin with some paperwork and health questionnaires that aid in your diagnosis and treatment. After the paperwork is completed, you will be asked to change into your sleep attire. Before the sleep study begins, the sleep technician will apply several monitors to your body that record information while you sleep.

The setup includes 9 electrodes that will be glued to your scalp. These electrodes record brain waves and show when you are awake and asleep. You do not need to cut or shave your hair for this procedure. The glue is dissolved with water and is easy to clean out in the morning. Also, you will have 4 electrodes taped to your chin and the temple area to record chin and eye movements. There will also be a breathing sensor taped to the area between your none and upper lip to monitor your breathing. This sensor does not block your airways so you will be able to breathe normally. Since we monitor your heart throughout the night, we attach adhesive electrodes to your shoulders and one to the side of your chest. Two electrodes are taped to each leg to record any leg movements. Also, you will have a cloth belt placed around your chest and abdomen to monitor your breathing. These belts are not restrictive and fit over your clothing. Finally, a band-aid type sensor is wrapped around a finger to record the amount of oxygen in your blood This setup is painless and you may watch television or read during the procedure.

Before the sleep study begins, the sleep technician will provide you with information regarding common sleep disorders and treatments. A common treatment that may be used during your visit is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP). The sleep technician will introduce you to this equipment and answer any questions.

Once the sleep study ends, the technician will disconnect all the wires and you will be given the opportunity to take a shower, except for patients who are to have an MSLT.

MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test)

An MSLT is a sleep study done during the daytime following a night PSG. This test objectively measures the level of daytime sleepiness that follows a nighttime sleep study. It consists of 5 naps that are spaced throughout the day. Each nap is 20-45 minutes in length and occurs approximately 2 hours apart. The first nap begins between 8am and 9am and the last nap begins between 3pm and 5pm.

Home Sleep Screening

Over the past few years numerous options for apnea screening and home testing have become more readily available. Generally this testing is available through a sleep physician or sleep center, and is seen as a lower-cost and more comfortable option that will determine if a full sleep study in a laboratory setting is necessary. Many of these screening options still require a full study before diagnosis and treatment can be made, but they are popular choices among patients that want to ensure apnea is present before spending money for a costly sleep study.

Home screening devices are also available direct to consumer through a select few companies. Visit O2 Connection for more information on how to acquire a home sleep screening device.

What Happens After A Sleep Study?

Once your technologist has collected all the necessary data, your sleep study will be sent to your physician, who will analyze the data. It may take up to two weeks for the physician to make the proper diagnosis. You will receive a phone call from our day staff, who will let you know what the next course of action will be. The possible actions are outlined below.

Your physician may need to you to come back in for a second study. If indicated, you may need to come back in for a second full-night study for a CPAP trial. You will need to be hooked up to the same wires as during the previous study so our physicians can make a comparison

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of your sleep without CPAP and with CPAP.

Your physician may want you to come into the office for a follow-up consultation for an in-depth discussion of your results before any other course of action/treatment is started. Generally, all follow-ups will occur after initiation of CPAP therapy, but in certain cases the physician may want to follow up sooner to go over other options.

If CPAP was initiated during your first study, you will be set up with a homecare company that will provide you with any CPAP equipment (masks, unit, headgear, etc.) you may need at home.

Homecare companies are usually chosen by your physician in accordance with the companies covered under your insurance. Once your physician has sent over the order for your CPAP unit, the homecare company will call you to schedule your set-up. These set-ups can take place either in your home or at the homecare company’s office, and you will need to ask the company which options are available to you. The respiratory therapist assisting you with the set-up will explain how to use your machine and allow you to try a selection of masks to find one that is the most comfortable and fits you the best. The homecare-company staff will review your insurance plan and decide what, if any, cost will come out of your pocket.

As with any medical procedure, following up with your physician is extremely important. Open, honest discussions with your physician will increase your chances of continuing with your specific therapy, which leads to a healthier life.

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