sleep medicine

Sleep Studies

Diagnosing the cause of sleep disorders

​A sleep study is a simple and painless way to diagnose a disorder, and treatment can allow you to wake up with the energy you need to take on your day. Depending on your background and symptoms, your doctor may refer you for a home sleep study or for a study in our sleep lab.

Both in-home and in-lab studies are designed to measure your brain waves, heart rate, leg and arm movements, breathing, and oxygen levels. A sleep medicine physician will analyze the information recorded during the night to determine if you have a sleep disorder.

Homesleep studies

Home sleep studies are focused on breathing and are usually used to diagnose or rule out obstructive sleep apnea. They are a simplified version of an overnight, attended sleep study.

Some patients are not good candidates for home studies, and not all insurance carriers will cover the cost of a home study. Your provider will make a recommendation for a home study or sleep lab study based on your specific situation.

If you are scheduled for a home study, you’ll need to pick up the equipment from our sleep lab. While you’re there, you’ll meet with a sleep technologist to learn how to place the sensors and start the study. That night, as you sleep like you usually do, the sensors will record information about airflow, snoring, breathing efforts, heart rate and oxygen levels.

In the morning, you’ll remove the sensors and return the test kit to the sleep lab so the data can be analyzed by a sleep medicine physician.

Sleep lab studies

Our sleep lab is a room that is specially designed to monitor your sleep. Set up like a nice, private hotel room, you’ll sleep like you usually do, but with special sensors to monitor your body while you sleep.

  • On the day of your sleep study: Keep your regular routine as much as possible. Avoid taking a nap or drinking caffeine after lunch. To ensure the sensors can work properly, don’t use hair sprays or gels. Speak with your provider about whether or not to take your regular medication during your sleep study.
  • What to bring: You’ll likely be scheduled to arrive at the sleep lab during the evening. Bring comfortable pajamas and the items you need for your nightly routine, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste. Bring any medications as directed by your healthcare provider.

At the sleep lab, a specially trained sleep technologist will walk you through a pre-sleep questionnaire. Then, you can get ready for bed. There won’t be any other patients in your room, and there will be a bathroom for you to use.

The sleep technologist will attach sensors to you. The sensors, which are glued or taped, monitor your body while you sleep. Tell the technologist if you are allergic or sensitive to any adhesives, and feel free to ask questions!

Cameras are placed in the room to allow the technologist to monitor you while you sleep in case any help is needed. For example, they can fix any equipment that comes loose during the night.

Most people sleep well enough at the sleep lab to allow for a diagnosis. Occasionally, you may be prescribed medication to help you sleep during the study.

  • After the study: Following the sleep study, a board-certified sleep medicine physician will review the data collected during the night. The sleep medicine physician will share the results with your provider. If you are diagnosed with a sleep or wakefulness disorder, your provider will help set up an individualized treatment plan.