So, you’re wondering what actually happens during a sleep study. For most people, it’s as easy as falling asleep.
A typical sleep study begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. When you arrive at Southern Regional, you will be shown to your private bedroom, with similar amenities to what you have at home. When you’re ready to go to bed, sensors will be applied to the scalp and skin – there are NO needles used. Blood oxygen is monitored using a cushioned clip that is kept on a finger throughout sleep. Respiration is monitored by using a thin sensor placed between the nose and upper lip. Breathing effort is recorded using belts placed around the chest and abdomen. It doesn’t hurt at all. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice a mild skin irritation from electrode paste or adhesive.
Then, you just turn off the lights and go off to sleep just as you would on any other night. As you sleep, a trained sleep technologist will monitor your sleep from an adjacent control room.
When you wake in the morning, you just get up and go to work at your usual time. The sleep technicians will send your study for interpretation by a physician specializing in sleep medicine. Your regular doctor will share the findings and recommendations with you.
If you then require treatment for sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or another sleep disorder, your doctor will work with you, the sleep center and specialist physicians to find a solution that both fixes your sleep disorder and fits your lifestyle.
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