Sleep Study Facts
Even though sleep disorders like sleep apnea are quite common, public discussion about their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment is only beginning. If your doctor has recommended a sleep study, there is no need to be nervous. The best diagnostic equipment in the region is available in a comfortable, private atmosphere right at the sleep lab.
What is a sleep study?
Approximately one third of each person's life is spent sleeping. Sleep studies offer a snapshot of a large portion of a patient's life. As a result, sleep studies are a highly effective tool that helps to diagnose or rule out many conditions at once.
We offer a 20-channel polysomnographic sleep study. During a sleep study, sensors are used to monitor and record the patient's breathing, heart rate, brain waves and other indicators while sleeping. Technicians use this data to analyze a patient's sleeping pattern and identify problem areas. Physicians later use the information gathered from the study to determine if problems exist, direct and adjust treatment.
If your physician has ordered a sleep study, they're concerned that symptoms you're experiencing might be the result of a sleep disorder. If your test reveals that you do in fact have a sleep disorder, don't be alarmed. The good news is that sleep disorders are quite common and very treatable. If you don't test positive for sleep disorders, the test was not a waste of time. Ruling out a sleep disorder will enable your physician to focus on the other aspects of your health that could be causing your symptoms.
Will I be able to sleep?
Many patients have doubts about their ability to sleep during a sleep study. If they have difficulty sleeping at home, they reason, will they be able to sleep in an unfamiliar environment? The answer is yes. Patients who do not experience regular restorative sleep may feel as though they "do not sleep" at all. In fact, in most cases there is measurable sleep activity that can be monitored. Patients, even those with serious sleep issues, are typically able to sleep long enough to produce helpful study data.
Do I have to alter my routine the day of my sleep study?
While sleep lab staff always recommends proper sleep hygiene, patient comfort is paramount. On the day of a sleep study, staff will help accommodate patients' schedules and routines. Patients are encouraged to follow their normal schedule, participate in their normal daily activities and continue to take their normal medications. However, sleep lab staff does suggest that patients refrain from napping on the day of their sleep study.
When will I learn the results of my sleep study?
Sleep studies produce a large amount of data that is reviewed by technicians and physicians. Results are typically available within two weeks of the sleep study. If a sleep disorder is diagnosed, sleep lab staff will contact a patient's ordering physician to discuss preliminary results and begin treatment as soon as possible in cases with significant findings.