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HOW ARE SLEEP PROBLEMS DIAGNOSED?
Some individuals realize that their sleep quality is poor or that they feel fatigued. They consult a physician. In other cases, friends or family report severe snoring, apnea, abnormal behavior or other signs. A physician may suspect the problem during an office visit. For all, the process begins with a complete sleep history and physical exam, followed by a referral to the Sleep Center.
WHAT IS A SLEEP STUDY?
A sleep study, or polysomnography, records many aspects of sleep, including breathing patterns, snoring, heartbeat, oxygen levels, leg movements, brain waves and total sleep quality. Testing begins in the early evening when the process is explained by specially-trained sleep technicians who apply monitor leads and follow the testing through the night in their control room next to the bedrooms. In the morning, patients may shower and then continue with the day’s usual activities.
WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENT LIKE?
The Sleep Center rooms are private, soundproof, temperature controlled and comfortably furnished with a queen-size bed, lounge chair, desk, television and outside phone line. Patients are free to bring their laptops, office work, medication, snacks and other comfort items. Each room also has a private bathroom and an intercom to talk with the lab technicians.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TEST?
Within a week, the sleep study is analyzed and reports are sent to the patient and his/her physician. The specific treatment suggested in the report is initiated by the physician at the Sleep Center or the patient’s physician. In some cases, additional studies may be required.