The Sleep Study Process at Family Sleep Diagnostics
Getting a sleep study is the first and most important step in diagnosing a sleep disorder. Here is what you can expect during a sleep study at Family Sleep Diagnostics.
Sleep study appointments are generally scheduled between 8:30 and 9:30 pm.
Note: If you cannot make your scheduled sleep study appointment, we ask that you call and let us know. Please give us 24 hours’ notice so we can schedule another patient in your spot. We do charge a fee for no shows.
Here’s what you need to bring:
- Loose, comfortable clothing to sleep in. Pajamas are welcome; however, many people prefer to dress in loose fitting sweat pants and t-shirts during the sleep study process.
- Clothing to wear the next morning
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, and anything you use during your nighttime and morning hygiene routine.
- Magazine, book, tablet, if you want to read or do something like that before lights out, at which time we ask that all electronics be turned off. We have complimentary Wi-Fi access.
A note about medications: If you take medications at night time, please take them before you come in for your sleep study. If you need to bring in medications to take here, please let your technician know. We do not administer any medications.
- Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a friendly technician who will help you sign in and make sure your paperwork is in order. You will need a photo ID and insurance card. Then, you will be escorted to your private sleep study suite where you will take care of any co-pays and sign your admission forms.
- You’ll be given some time to settle in, change into your sleep clothes, and take care of your nighttime hygiene routine (brush teeth, wash face, etc.).
- Once you’re all set, your sleep technologist will come in to start the process of getting you set up for sleep testing. The entire process of getting you set up for testing can take up to an hour. Typically, patients remain seated throughout and can watch television or read.
Note: Please alert staff of any known skin allergies to metals or adhesives upon scheduling your appointment.
Monitoring Your Sleep
- Your sleep technician will measure your scalp and then, using conductive paste, place small wires (electrodes) on your head to record your brain activity (EEG). This will allow your physician to determine the quality of your sleep.
- Electrodes will be placed near your eyes to monitor eye movements (EOG). This indicates sleep staging, especially dream sleep (REM).
- Two electrodes will be placed on the chin to measure muscle tension (EMG).
- Two sticky electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart (ECG).
- A small sensor will be placed in front of your nose/mouth to measure your breathing throughout the night (diagnostics) or a PAP mask placed on your face to test treatment efficacy/tolerance. This will let us know if you have any nightly breathing issues.
- A soft band will be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your effort to breathe.
- Electrodes will be placed on each leg to monitor any leg movements that may disrupt your sleep.
- Finally, a pulse oximeter is placed on your finger to monitor heart rate and oxygen levels and a microphone is set up nearby to record any snoring. (Depending on the type of sleep test, more or fewer electrodes may be used.)
- When you are ready to go to sleep, you will get into bed and your technician will perform a series of tests to set your baseline and make sure your equipment is working. They will have you do things like move your eyes, move your feet, breathe deep, pretend to snore, etc.
- Then it will be time for you to go to sleep. We usually set lights out at 11 pm. This allows enough time for us to collect the necessary data. If you can’t get to sleep immediately, no worries. We are focused on recording time and not the amount of time spent in a deep sleep. Feel free to sleep in any comfortable position and move around as necessary. The electrodes will move with you.
- While you are sleeping, we will be monitoring your vital signs. Your sleep technologist is on call throughout the night and may need to re-enter your room to fix the position of a sensor or to initiate CPAP treatment. Feel free to call them regarding any questions/concerns or if you need assistance.
- If you need to go to the restroom, please let your technician know so they can help you with your electrodes. If your room is too hot, or too cold, etc., they are there to help you be more comfortable.
- Sleep studies are generally completed by 5:00 am. At the end of the study, your sleep technologist will disconnect all the sensors and administer discharge papers. They won’t have your test results at this time as the data still needs to be analyzed by a sleep physician. We ask that you respect the sleep technologists’ restrictions on talking about test results.
What Happens After Your Sleep Study?
After the study, your results will be compiled, scored and sent to your physician to interpret within 3 business days. There are some instances where another physician will be interpreting your study. In that instance, a copy of those results will also be sent to your referring physician at that time. Your referring physician will also receive the signed interpretation once that is available.
We ask that you do not call for results for at least 7 – 10 business days.
If you have sleep apnea, you will be contacted to schedule treatment, this is called a Titration. You will be asked to return for a second sleep study with a CPAP machine. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure) is the “gold standard” of treatment for sleep apnea and is a safe and effective treatment for sleep apnea. It is the treatment of choice for sleep apnea particularly when oxygen desaturations during sleep are present (low oxygen). During this treatment, the technologist is observing you at different CPAP pressure levels to see which level controls your breathing and increases your oxygen levels. This is considered an “optimal pressure.” The goal of any Titration study is to find an optimal pressure to alleviate your sleep apnea.
After your Titration study, your results will be compiled, scored and sent to your physician to interpret within 3 business days. There are some instances where another physician will be interpreting your study. In that instance, a copy of those results will also be sent to your referring physician at that time. Your referring physician will also receive the signed interpretation once that is available.
Many patients who have apnea prefer to attempt a trial of treatment before seeing the physician for follow-up after the sleep study. We recommend you see your doctor within 6-8 weeks for a follow up after your Titration study to assess your response to the equipment. This is so you and the doctor can make an informed decision together about your treatment after having tried DME for a period at home. Your physician may want you to come in sooner.
If, during the trial of treatment, you find the equipment is not effective, other forms of treatment may be recommended by your physician.
If you have any other identifiable sleep disorders other than apnea you will be contacted and a recommendation will be made to consult with your physician.
If at any time you’d like to make an appointment with a Sleep Boarded physician, please contact our office, and we can recommend physicians in your area.