Patients suffering from sleep disorders are referred to the Sleep Disorders Center by their physician. Or, they may call the ETMC neurodiagnostic sleep lab and speak to a sleep technician who can initiate the referral process.
In many cases an overnight evaluation is needed to learn what is causing the sleep/wake disturbance. The patient's brain waves (electroencephalogram), heart rate (electrocardiogram), snoring, respiration, leg muscle activity and oxygen saturation levels are monitored.
The recording techniques are noninvasive (external) and all electrodes are applied on the skin surface of the areas recorded. The entire recording procedure is painless.
After the electrodes have been applied, the patient will spend the night in a comfortable bed in the Sleep Disorders Center, and sleep will be monitored throughout the night.
When the sleep/wake disorder affects a person's daytime functioning, evaluation of the degree of daytime sleepiness is important. A multiple sleep latency test is sometimes used to rule out narcolepsy or to objectively assess sleepiness of the patient. In this case, the patient will remain at the center during the day following their nighttime evaluation. The patient will be given the opportunity to fall asleep at two-hour intervals for a series of four naps. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Most sleep/wake disorders can be treated or managed effectively once they are accurately diagnosed. The extensive nighttime evaluation, in combination with the daytime evaluation when necessary, provides complete information for diagnosis of most sleep/wake disorders.
Once a sleep study is completed, your physician will be able to discuss treatment recommendations. One of the functions of the Sleep Disorders Center is to serve as a resource to the medical community by providing awareness of the latest developments in this rapidly changing field and contributing to advances in sleep disorders treatment.
Most insurance carriers offer insurance coverage for sleep disorder studies. Because the policies of insurance companies differ, prospective patients should ask about coverage before scheduling an appointment with the Sleep Disorders Center.