Approximately 33 percent of the general population has sleep disorders. Insomnia is the most prevalent, followed by sleep apnea. At the Sleep Center, we can conduct a sleep study to find out what is keeping you up at night as well as what is causing you to keep your spouse or family up at night. Our Sleep Center includes twelve rooms and operates seven days a week to help diagnose any sleep disorders you may have.
A sleep study requires spending a night in our Sleep Center. The lab is set up like you would envision most bedrooms. It comes equipped with a bed, nightstand, and television-all the basic comforts of home. Once you get settled in your "new bedroom" you are wired with electrodes measuring everything from leg movement to brain waves. Not too terribly noticeable is a small video camera located in the corner, which operates from an infrared light source. The camera is used to record your every move during sleep, helping physicians determine if a sleep disorder is the culprit of a restless night of sleep. The study is relatively easy for patients. It requires little effort on your part, except for actually falling asleep. Most studies require only a one-night visit for assessment. Sometimes an additional visit might be required to monitor any new procedures. In some cases the board certified Sleep medicine provider may determine that a home sleep test can be performed.
The Sleep Center offers the following list of studies:
- Polysomnogram (PSG) - An all night diagnostic study for the diagnosis of sleep disorders.
- Split Study - A combination study to diagnose and treat sleep related breathing disorders in one night if possible. Certain criteria for severity must be met.
- Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) - Includes both an all night diagnostic study and an all day series of naps. It is most commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy.
- CPAP/BiLevel Titration - An all night therapeutic study to determine appropriate levels of CPAP or BiLevel Therapy for the treatment of sleep related breathing disorders such as sleep apnea. The study involves the use of a mask that covers the nose and/or face as well as the sensors used for a PSG. Air from the mask works as a pneumatic split to keep the airway from collapsing.
- Home Sleep Test
These tests may be performed to evaluate possible sleep disorders, such as hypersomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, breathing difficulties during sleep, behavior disturbances during sleep, or other sleep disorders. A polysomnograph is a test of sleep cycles and stages through the use of continuous recordings of brain waves (EEG), electrical activity of muscles, eye movement (electrooculogram), breathing rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rhythm and direct observation of the person during sleep.
There are two states of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is associated with dreaming and paralysis of body muscles (except for the eye and diaphragm muscles). NREM sleep has four stages distinguishable by EEG waves. REM sleep alternates with NREM sleep approximately every 90 minutes. A person with normal sleep usually has four to five cycles of REM and NREM sleep during a night. Polysomnograms are conducted in The Sleep Center.
The Sleep Center features twelve private rooms. Each is individually climate controlled. The test is carried out during the night so that normal sleep patterns can be reproduced. Electrodes are placed on the chin, the scalp, and the outer edge of the eyelids in preparation for the test. Characteristic patterns from the electrodes are recorded while you are awake with your eyes closed and during sleep. The time taken to fall asleep is measured as well as the time to enter REM sleep. Patients are monitored and recorded by video camera.
A split study combines both the diagnostic PSG test and the Therapeutic CPAP titration into 1 night. If you meet certain criteria, we are able to determine the presence of Sleep Apnea and then institute CPAP treatment on the same night. This is sometimes preferred when severe sleep apnea is suspected. On occasion, you may still need to come back in for an all night CPAP Titration.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
An MSLT is the test done to diagnose narcolepsy or hypersomnolencec. An all night PSG is performed after which the patient stays during the day for a series of nap studies. 4 to 5 naps are required about 2 hours apart. The patient can generally expect to be at The Sleep Center until 4:30 PM.
This involves use of the same sensors used for a PSG with the addition of a mask that fits over the nose or the nose and mouth. The mask utilizes air pressure to hold open the airway and keep it from collapsing. The air pressure will be adjusted by the sleep tech during the night to find the proper level to treat your sleep apnea. Your doctor will then arrange for you to get a CPAP machine to use at home during sleep.
Home Sleep Test
In some cases the board certified sleep medicine provider may determine that a patient with high risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea and no other medical disorders may be appropriate for a home sleep test. The patient will be educated on how to use the home sleep test equipment. This type of sleep study lets you sleep in the comfort of your own home while a machine collects information.
Evaluation and Treatment for Sleep Disorders
The first step to solving your sleep disorder is determining what happens during sleep time that might be causing your troubles. Your doctor will determine the type of test that is most appropriate for the symptoms you are having. Your tests will be done in one of The Sleep Center's private rooms, set up for your comfort during both day and night studies. During testing period, laboratory technicians monitor brain waves, breathing, heart activity, muscle activity and other functions in order to uncover the source of sleep problems. The results of these tests are reviewed and interpreted. A report is sent to the ordering physician with recommendations for treatment and follow up. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, breathing aid devices and medications.