Sleep clinic centers offer treatments for those with sleep disorders. They specialize in clinical diagnosis, treatment and follow up services for those suffering from insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, night terrors, narcolepsy and sleepwalking, to name a few. An overnight sleep study at a sleep clinic center can include the following tests; EEG (electroencephalogram) which monitors brain activity to document sleep stages, EOG (electrooculogram) that measures REM eye movement, EMG (electromyogram) that determines muscle activity, muscle tone and body movement especially in the limbs and face (teeth grinding), EKG (electrocardiogram) which gauges heart activity, respiratory airflow to determine if there is an obstruction with airway passages caused by OSA or chronic snoring, respiratory effort that can indicate respiratory disturbances in the chest wall and abdominal cavity and body position that will assess the effect of certain sleep positions on a person ability to sleep well and retain normal breathing.
A polysomnography (PSG) is a sleep study test that is only available at a sleep clinic. It records data while you sleep by attaching electronic transmitters to your face and scalp. The recordings or sleep study scoring will determine if you have a sleep disorder.
There are four types of sleep disorder study:
1. Diagnostic Overnight PSG; Study of sleep by brain wave, eye movement and number of arousals, etc. to determine the amount of non-REM and REM sleep. This sleeping study also monitors body functions including breathing patterns, oxygen levels, heart rhythms and leg/arm movements.
2. Diagnostic Daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) This sleep research study diagnoses narcolepsy and measures restlessness, sleepiness during the hours you are awake. This study of sleep is usually done after a PSG test and will conclude if you fall asleep easily during the day and monitors how often you enter REM sleep. MWT test or multiple wake test measures whether you can stay awake during your normal awake hours.
3. Two-night Evaluation PSG and CPAP Titration; a sleep apnea study CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure involves using a specially designed nasal mask that evaluates the delivery of air into the airways. The first night is general monitoring to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The OSA sleep study will show if you stop breathing during your sleep. The second night is required to see if CPAP pressure will alleviate apnea.
4. Split-night PSG with CPAP Titration; Instead of two consecutive nights this test splits one night in half. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea with the first half of the study then the second have they will use the mask to determine the CPAP pressure required to lessen your sleep apnea.
A home study are for those that have been diagnosed with OSA and meet the following criteria; patients with a high pre-test probability of moderate to severe OSA, they have no significant co-morbid medical conditions which include moderate-severe pulmonary diseases (cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, active asthma, COPD), congestive heart failure and neuromuscular diseases (ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease), they are unable to be studied at a sleep clinic and to monitor the response to non-CPAP treatments after the diagnosis has been made.
When you arrive at the sleep center you will be assigned a private room that may appear to look like a bedroom. This room is a central monitoring area where technicians will record and analyzes you while you sleep. There you will be hooked up to the monitor. Electrodes will be attached to your face and scalp so that your electrical signals will be sent to the measuring equipment. An Oximeter will be put on your finger to calculate the oxygen level in your blood and a strap will be placed around your chest to measure your breathing. All the machines and wirers may look intimidating and uncomfortable, but most patients fall asleep without any problems.
Sometimes you may have shift work sleep disorder and your internal clock or circadian rhythm is causing you to become restless during the day. A home sleep study test called Actigraphy, a device that looks like a watch which will assess your movement during night and day. It will help your doctor to determine what times during the day you are active and what times you are sleeping.
Before you have a sleep study your doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary for 1 or 2 weeks. Try to adhere to your normal routine for a more accurate record and indicate if you have any chronic insomnia symptom; can’t fall asleep easy, can’t stay asleep throughout the night or if you wake up you can’t fall back to sleep, you wake up to early or get less than six hours of sleep and/or feel tired and restless during the day. Two or three days before the test do not take any naps, stop taking any drugs especially sleeping aides and don’t drink or eat anything with caffeine.
On the day of the test take a shower but do not put anything is your hair like hair spray or hair gel. Some of the test equipment will be attached to your face and fingers so no makeup, fingernail polish or fake nails. Pack a small overnight bag; bring a book, pajamas and your favorite pillow if you like.
All pertinent forms should be completed prior to the sleep study test day. Make sure you complete and answer all answers honestly this will help your doctor to diagnosis your sleep disorder. The doctor will ask about your and your family’s medical history as well as request a list of any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and/or herbal supplements you are taking. And above all else ask questions and discuss concerns with your doctor.
Sleep studies are usually done at a sleep clinic and your results should be available within 1-2 weeks. Sleep centers are usually staffed with professional pulmonologists, neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and oral specialists. Their counselors can quickly resolve any problems to increase the likelihood that patients accept their treatment and learn to successfully manage their sleep disorder. Depending on the diagnosis they may be recommended to seek further tests or treatment from a specialist. The content in Overnight Sleep Study at a Sleep Clinic Center is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.