Frequently Asked Questions
When will I be finished?
Generally, our patients are ready to leave the Sleep Center between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Special arrangements can be made if you need to leave earlier. Please inform the Sleep Center scheduler of any special requirements when making your appointment.
What should I wear?
The staff recommends that all patients wear a loose fitting outfit. Shorts and a T-Shirt have proven to be the most comfortable. Satin, silk, or other slippery materials should not be worn as these may cause sensors to move out of position.
What should I bring?
Patients are asked to bring along all necessary paperwork including referrals and insurance cards. Patients are also free to bring their own pillows. Patients are encouraged to bring their own toiletry items such as toothbrushes, soaps, and shampoos if they will be departing for work directly from the Sleep Center.
Will there be someone with me all night?
Yes, a sleep lab technologist will be monitoring and observing the study the entire time you are in the Sleep Center. The technologist will be monitoring you both through video and audio devices and will respond to any calls for assistance (such as using the restroom, etc.) The same technologist that greets you in the evening will be with you for the entire study.
Does having a sleep study hurt?
No, all the electrodes and sensors we apply to our patients are applied with tape, paste, or are self-adhesive. There are no needles or other invasive procedures required.
How can I sleep with all of those wires attached to me?
This is a common question that almost all of our patients ask us. It has been our experience that the vast majority of our patients take only a slightly longer time falling asleep. We do our best to insure that your night at the Sleep Center is closer to a night at a hotel rather than a hospital!
What if I need to use the restroom after I am hooked up and asleep?
Going to the restroom is not a problem during the study. Simply alert your technologist of your need and he or she will unhook the “headbox (a box that all the wires plug into)” and you can use the restroom without further hindrance.
When will I get the results?
After your study is scored by one of the staff technologists, the preliminary results will be faxed to your physician. The results of your sleep study will be sent to your physician in about 7-10 days.
Can the temperature be adjusted?
Yes, each sleep room has an independent thermostat. Extra blankets and fans are on hand to make your stay in the Sleep Center as comfortable as possible.
What if I am diabetic and need to store insulin or test my blood glucose level?
The Sleep Center has its own refrigerator to store your insulin. In addition, testing your blood glucose is no problem, we just ask that you bring your own meter and supplies. In case of emergencies, the sleep lab keeps orange juice on hand at all times.
My child is having a sleep study, may I stay as well?
Yes, a parent may accompany a minor child in the Sleep Center. If you wish to stay, please inform the sleep study scheduler when you make your appointment. We will do the best we can to accommodate your request.
Why must I bathe and wash my hair before the study?
We will be applying numerous electrodes to the scalp as well as other parts of your body including your chest and legs. In order to ensure high quality signals from our equipment, the skin needs to be free from dirt and surface oils. Having high-quality signals allows us to perform a high-quality study and lessens set-up time allowing you to go to sleep faster.
Is breakfast provided?
No, breakfast is not served in the Sleep Center unless you remain for daytime testing. Orange juice, coffee, and water are available for you after your study. You may bring a morning snack with you if you desire. If you are scheduled to remain for daytime testing breakfast and lunch is provided.
How important is sleep?
Sleep is very important to a person’s health and well-being. Sleeping well is the first step to living well. More studies show sleep is as important as food and water. The body needs restorative rest. The emotional ability to function is greatly impacted by disrupted sleep.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average.
For most adults, seven to eight hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as five hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day to feel fully refreshed.
Women in the first three months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days.
Getting too little sleep creates a sleep debt, which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. Our bodies do not seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need.
Unfortunately, while we may get used to a sleep-deprived schedule day after day, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.
Is lack of sleep serious?
Not getting enough sleep results in sleepiness. This sleepiness can occur at inappropriate times such as driving, watching TV and reading. Serious accidents have occurred during times of extreme sleepiness. These include the TMI nuclear accident and the Exxon Valdez Oil spill.
What could be causing interrupted sleep?
There are many reasons, some of which include some of the 88 sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea. There are many factors that can influence sleep problems, such as medical illness, nocturia, pain, stress and other psychological problems.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes breathing to become shallow or to stop. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send appropriate signals to the breathing muscles that initiate respirations. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air cannot flow into or out of the person’s nose or mouth, although efforts to breathe continues. The main symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Another symptom is gasping or choking sensations. Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea is important and because it can be linked to heart disease, high blood pressure heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and GERD.
What is the test that is done for sleep apnea?
The test done for sleep apnea is called a polysomnography. It is a procedure to record a series of body functions that occur while you sleep. This recording assists the doctor in the determination of the presence and severity of your sleep and what happens when you do sleep.
How is the recording made?
Electrodes will be attached to your scalp, face, chest, and legs. A record will be made of your brain waves, eye movements, breathing, snoring, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and any unusual leg movements as you sleep.
Can I call and schedule the sleep study myself or do I need a doctor’s order?
If a sleep study needs to be performed, you may call your family physician or our office. If calling our office, a consultation with a sleep physician will be necessary, and he/she needs to write an order to have this done. His/her office will contact the sleep center, and then the test will be scheduled.
How long does the test take?
If you are scheduled for a polysomnography, you will be here for the entire night. An MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test) or MWT (Maintenance of Wakefulness Test) will take approximately six hours.
What about medications?
Please bring along your medication that you take at bedtime or that you may need to take during the night. If you need to take any medications on an as needed basis, please bring them along too.
Will my insurance pay for the test?
Most insurance providers cover sleep medicine, but each insurance company is different and has different policies. Each policy covers a different amount, so it is important to check with you particular policy. Most of the time your ordering physician will be able to take care of this. If you have any questions, please call your insurance company. Patients without insurance or desiring self-payment will be considered on a case by case basis. Payment plans can be arranged prior to appointments in some cases.
If I need CPAP treatment, does the sleep center set this up?
Once your sleep specialist has determined continuous airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is need, an order will need to be written. Our dedicated Sleep Center staff will work with a Durable medical Equipment (DME) company to fill the order for your CPAP machine and supplies. Once the order has been processed by the DME company and your insurance approves the request, you will be contacted by someone at the DME company to discuss the set-up. They will schedule an appointment with you for your equipment set up. During the initial set-up, the DME company will provided you your machine and all necessary supplies. They will educate you on how to turn on and off the machine. They will show you how to correctly put on your mask. They will show you all the components of your machine and supplies and how they function. They will also teach you how to care for your equipment.
Do I have a Sleep Disorder?
If you or a loved one has one of the following signs, it may indicate a sleep disorder and should be evaluated by a physician:
- Habitual loud snoring
- Frequent brief choking, awakening with gasping or shortness of breath
- Awakening with a headache
- Persistent sleepiness when awake or episodes of falling asleep unintentionally
- Persistent fatigue
- Persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep
- An urge to keep moving the legs at bedtime or a rhythmic twitching of the legs after falling asleep
- Unusual behaviors during sleep such as sleepwalking.
What are the health risks of untreated Sleep Apnea?
Untreated Sleep Apnea can lead to:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
- Chronic Fatigue
- Morning Headache