A doctor may recommend a sleep study for patients with sleeps disorders. During the study, the patient stays at a sleep lab overnight and sleeps in a room that resembles a hotel room. Monitored remotely by equipment and technicians, patients can be evaluated for sleep disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy, hypersomnia, pediatric sleep conditions and others.
“It’s a little scary for some people,” said Jorge Rey, a sleep technician at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic sleep lab. “You have to remember you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. But you shouldn’t be nervous because you’re being monitored by a certified technician who is going to help you.”
Sleep study steps include:
1 - Check in
The patient checks in. Be sure to bring your ID and insurance card. A technician gives the patient a tour of the sleeping room. The patient can also try on a CPAP machine in case it’s needed during the night.
2 - Getting hooked Up
The patient goes to the hook-up room. A technician attaches electrodes to the body to record functions. The body areas include:
Legs – checks for limb movement disorders
Chest and abdomen – monitors breathing efforts and heart
Neck – checks for snoring
Head/face – checks if patient grinds teeth and records the stages of sleep
The technician attaches an electrode to the patient’s finger to monitor pulse and oxygen levels during the night.
3 - Putting in sleep time
The patient is escorted back to the sleep room. Sleep time! The patient goes to bed. Recording equipment starts. The technician leaves the room.
4 - Compiling data and results
The technician monitors the patient remotely throughout the night and takes notes. The patient awakes the next morning. The electrodes are removed and the patient checks out.