Enhancing Your Comfort and Convenience

At Somnos, we provide evaluation, diagnosis and follow-up for a wide range of sleep disorders. Beyond those basics, our goal is to make each patient’s experience as comfortable, convenient, and stress-free as possible. At Somnos:

What to expect when you come in for a sleep study

Many people may feel a little uneasy at the thought of a sleep study. Knowing what to expect during your stay at a sleep disorders center can help relieve some of this anxiety. A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is a recording that will provide valuable information about your sleep patterns and any potential sleep disorders you might have. There are over 75 known sleep disorders but the most common are insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs.

Some sleep disorders, including insomnia, may be diagnosed during a visit with your physician. However, in many cases, to properly diagnose a sleep disorder it is necessary for you to come to the sleep center for an overnight stay. If you are a shift worker and sleep during the daytime, we will make arrangements for you to be evaluated during your normal sleep schedule.

Before your appointment we will perform a sleep questionnaire with you over the telephone—this takes about 15 to 20 minutes. We will also ask you for your insurance information and assist in filing your claim.

Generally you check in about an hour and a half before your usual bedtime. When you arrive for your study the sleep technician will greet you and show you around the center. You will have your own bedroom. A bathroom is nearby. Each bedroom has a full or queen-size bed with nightstands and bed lamps. Although pillows and bedding are provided, you are welcome to bring your own pillows from home if you prefer, as well as pajamas. Detailed instructions will be mailed to your home before the study to let you know how to prepare for your overnight stay.

Enhancing Your Comfort and Convenience

During your sleep evaluation, the activities that go on in your body during sleep (such as brain waves, muscle movements, and breathing) are monitored by small metal discs (electrodes) which are applied to your head and skin with an adhesive. Flexible elastic belts around your chest and abdomen allow us to measure your breathing effort, and a device called a thermocouple (which looks like a small piece of wire covered in plastic) is placed near your mouth and nose to measure the temperature change as you breathe in and out. The technician will explain all procedures and will be happy to answer your questions about the study.

Although we call the procedure of attaching these items the “hook-up” there are no hooks involved and no needles. The hook-up is not painful and is designed to be as comfortable as possible. Many people ask us how they will be able to sleep while connected to these electrodes and belts. Most people find that once they lie down in bed they do not notice the wires and can sleep in a variety of positions comfortably. The electrode wires are gathered into a “pony tail” above your head so that you can change position in bed almost as easily as you would at home.

During the night…

Once the hook-up is completed there will be a short test to make sure that everything is working properly. The technician will give you some commands, such as opening and closing your eyes, to check the recording signals. If you wish, you are welcome to read for a while before “lights out”. You can arrange a wake-up time with the technician before you go to bed. Usually the sleep study lasts at least six hours, but not much longer than eight hours. During the night the sleep technician is in a separate monitoring room to assure that a quality sleep recording is made. An infrared camera and intercom are in your bedroom so that the technician can note your sleeping position and any snoring or breathing sounds that you might make.

It’s not difficult to get up to use the bathroom during the night. You will just need to call for the technician and he or she will come in to disconnect the cable (it takes about 30 seconds) before you get out of bed.

In the morning it takes about 20 to 30 minutes after you awake to remove the electrodes and go through a short questionnaire. If you prefer, you may shower and clean up at the sleep center before you leave.