When should I visit a sleep specialist?
It’s time to see a doctor specially trained in sleep disorders when you have had trouble sleeping for more than a month or if you are tired during the day for unknown reasons. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it is important to have the cause evaluated in a sleep lab. You and your primary care physician should not assume that you have “insomnia“. Recent studies show that a high percentage (30-50%) of people diagnosed with insomnia actually have another sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. Also, it is very important to have your nocturnal breathing pattern evaluated before starting sleeping agents, because they may depress your respiratory drive.
Are sleep studies covered by insurance?
Yes. Medicare and most private health insurance companies cover office visits, sleep studies and CPAP services. We accept all insurance plans except Kaiser.
Do you need a referral?
If you have Medicare or a PPO: No. HMO’s usually require one. Generally you can call your doctor and ask him/her to fax us a referral. We would be happy to assist you by faxing our referral form to your doctor.
What are some of the consequences of sleep disorders if left untreated?
Some of the risks include:
Risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke
Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
Cognitive impairment and poor job performance
Anxiety, depression, memory loss and dementia, hypertension, cardiac disease, stroke, and traffic accidents.
Do I have to have an office visit before my sleep study?
Usually that is the best way. Our physician will perform an extensive review of your medical history with a special focus on sleep and she will perform a physical exam aimed at uncovering common causes of sleep disruption. She will evaluate you for one of the more than 80 sleep disorders that are currently known. Some sleep disorders may be treated without requiring a sleep study, while others require a sleep study to determine which disorder you may have and its severity. This visit not only insures that we are providing you with the best possible service, but it is also preferred by the sleep center to meet the high standards of accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our physician may refer a patient directly for a sleep study if it is for suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the patient is in very good health.
What does a sleep study entail?
A sleep study is a non-invasive, painless evaluation of your sleep. Electrodes attach with paste and they monitor your brain waves, rapid eye movements, breathing patterns, respiratory efforts, oxygen levels, snoring, muscle tone and leg movements, electrocardiogram and heart rate. You are able to move from side to side.
What if I can’t fall asleep?
“There’s no way I can fall asleep with all that stuff on me!” The good news is that almost everyone does, it just may take you a little longer than normal. If this is a concern, please voice this to our physician during your appointment.
What if I have to go to the bathroom?
No problem. The electrodes are collected together to a central attachment that easily detaches to free you to get up and out of bed. Bathroom and shower facilities are available for all patients.
What if I don’t usually sleep at night because I work second or third shift, or I habitually go to bed very late or very early?
Not a problem. If needed, we can make arrangements to accommodate your normal sleep schedule.
How long will I be at the sleep Center?
Arrival is typically between 8:30 pm and 10:00 pm, and patients leave in the morning between 5:00 am and 7:00 am. You would likely spend approximately 9 hours in the lab, and the goal is for you to sleep 7 hours.
What should I bring?
You may bring with you any personal items that you like, although most needed items are provided by the center (shampoo, soap, towels, etc.). You are encouraged to bring reading materials that will help you to fall asleep, and you may bring your own pillow, if you prefer. You may want to bring a change of clothes for the morning. Most patients will bring what they would normally take for a night at a hotel.
Can I watch TV?
Yes, your room will have a flat screen TV with cable. Lights out is at 11:00 pm, so the TV will have to be turned off at that time. We ask that you watch or read something relaxing before the lights go out.
Does Advanced Sleep Centers accept pediatric patients?
Yes, we accept patients over the age of 4. A sleep consultation is required prior to a sleep study unless it is a simple case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A parent or guardian must remain with the child throughout the sleep study, so to accommodate the parent, we have bedrooms that also have a recliner for the parent/guardian to use. There are forms that must be completed by the parent/guardian prior to the study. See our New Patient Forms for the pediatric patient registration form.
What if a spouse or caregiver wants to accompany an adult patient?
Yes, the caregiver and patient can sleep in one of the bedrooms with a recliner.