Sleep Center FAQs


What is a sleep disorder?

There are different types and stages of sleep. When you have a sleep disorder, your sleep is repeatedly interrupted and you cannot cycle normally through these stages of sleep. You may feel tired, fatigued and have trouble concentrating and paying attention while awake.

What are common sleep disorders?

Common sleep disorders include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—A disorder characterized by repeated interruptions of breathing during sleep, occurring as many as hundreds of times during a single night. Sleep apnea is often associated with snoring or episodes of gasping or choking while sleeping. You can view a video on OSA. Para el vídeo y decription en español, haga clic aquí.
  • Insomnia—This disorder includes trouble falling or staying asleep. Waking too early can also be a sign of insomnia.
  • Restless leg syndrome—A neurological disorder that causes creeping or burning sensations in the legs, producing an overwhelming urge to move.
  • Narcolepsy—A chronic neurological disorder that produces “sleep attacks” that can occur at any time.

How much sleep is enough?

While there is no “magic number” that is right for everyone, adults typically feel best when they get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you have a sleep disturbance, you may feel like you are sleeping enough hours but you are not well rested because you never go through the different cycles of sleep.

What to expect at your sleep study?

While you sleep, electroencephalography (EEG) monitors your sleep stages and cycles during the night by recording electrical activity on your scalp. This identifies possible disruptions in the pattern of your sleep. Sleep studies also measure:

  • Eye movements
  • Oxygen levels in your blood through a sensor—no needles are involved
  • Heart and breathing rates
  • Snoring
  • Body movements

Before you go to bed, a technologist will place sensors or electrodes on your head and body, but you will still have plenty of room to move and get comfortable. Sleep technologists monitor you during the night and can help you if you need assistance (e.g., going to the bathroom)

Data from your sleep study will be recorded by a sleep technologist and evaluated by our sleep medicine specialist. If there is evidence of a sleep disorder, this doctor will make treatment recommendations. You can see a video about a night in the sleep lab. Para el vídeo y decription en español, haga clic aquí

What to bring to your sleep study?

You may bring personal items related to sleep, and you can sleep in your own pajamas.

What happens next if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea?

If your sleep study reveals sleep apnea, we recommend a second sleep test to determine the best treatment.

Your sleep medicine team will make treatment recommendations based on your medical history, symptoms, sleep complaints and sleep study results. Treatment options include:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy—Uses air pressure to support and maintain open airways and regular breathing during sleep. The most common form of treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which involves breathing through a mask connected to a small, air-pumping machine. During a second sleep study, we adjust the CPAP pressure to a comfortable setting that corrects the sleep apnea and promotes restful sleep at home. You can view a video on CPAP therapy. Para el vídeo y decription en español, haga clic aquí.

  • Dental devices—Keep your jaw and tongue properly positioned for easy breathing and refreshing sleep

What happens after a sleep study?

Our physician specialists evaluate the data and interpret results from your study, sending a report to your physician within five days. We keep your referring physician informed of results and treatment recommendations. Patients may also receive a copy of the report on request.

Can my spouse or significant other stay with me on the night of my study?

Significant others may have helpful insight during the evaluation stage, but they are not usually permitted to stay with you on the night of your study. However, if you require a caregiver to assist you with your daily activities (i.e., walking, dressing, medication administration, etc.), we encourage - and may require - their attendance on the night of the study.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my sleep study?

Please make every effort to keep your scheduled appointment. A sleep technician and room have been reserved just for you. If you must cancel or reschedule, please notify us eight hours in advance of your scheduled appointment or there may be a charge for the missed appointment.

What is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy?

CPAP is a highly effective type of respiratory therapy for sleep apnea that uses air pressure to keep the upper airway open during sleep. There are various pressures used in CPAP therapy and getting a mask that fits properly is critical. So, it is important to work with a respiratory therapist to determine which pressure and equipment is right for you.

What kind of equipment does CPAP therapy use?

CPAP equipment includes a small machine that forces air through flexible tubing into a nasal mask that is held in place by headgear or a headband.