What is a Sleep Study?
Sleep studies are important diagnostic tools for common sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian and rhythm disorders. Sleep studies have proven to be particularly important in Alaska where the extreme darkness and lightness tend to either cause or worsen sleep disorders.
Sleep studies are non-invasive and painless. They monitor:
- Brainwave activity
- Eye movement
- Muscle movement
- Heart activity
- Blood oxygen level
In a sleep study, you will conduct your sleep study over night at our facility. The results from the sleep study will help either provide a diagnoses or clarify what (if anything) may be causing concern.
When Should I Get a Sleep Study Evaluation?
Usually, you may need a sleep evaluation is if you are struggling with sleep or sleep related problems such as:
- Excessive snoring
- Never feeling like you get enough sleep – can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up too early
- General performance loss in many important areas of life (work, relationships, etc.)
- Chronic daytime fatigue
- Being unable to stay awake during the day
- Sudden onset of sleep-readiness at an odd hour during the day
- Uncharacteristic memory trouble
- Concentration problems
- Chronic brain fog
- Chronic headaches in the morning
- Increased anxiety that is not normal
- Uncharacteristic mood troubles
At this point, you may consult your doctor who will make a referral. However, it’s also not uncommon that people are surprised by a sleep referral, as sleep problems don’t always manifest as being obviously sleep related.
Does Insurance Cover Sleep Studies?
While there are many different insurance options, most insurance companies provide coverage for sleep studies. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and healthcare purchased through the Healthcare Marketplace.
Before you sleep study, you can check with us to verify that insurance covers you.
How to Prepare for a Sleep Study
First, it is a good idea to visit the sleep center before your sleep study. This allows you to understand and visualize what the sleep study will entail, as well as get comfortable with the sleep environment.
Other good practices you can undertake to prepare for a sleep study:
- Avoid napping the day of your study
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sedatives, and stimulates 24 hours before your study
- Eat regular meals on the day of your study
- On the day of your study, avoid using hair products such as oils and sprays
- Bring comfortable sleep attire
- Bring your regularly scheduled medications
- Make sure we are aware of any disabilities or other accommodations you might have
Other than this, the idea is to study your sleep as if you were at home.
Do I Need a Referral to Get a Sleep Study?
Yes, sleep studies do need a referral. This can happen after expressing concerns to your doctor and receiving a referral, or you can simply call your doctor and ask to fax a referral.
We have patient referral forms available on our website.
What Happens During a Sleep Study?
During a sleep study:
- You arrive at the facility in the late evening
- You get ready for sleep and lie down in a private room
- Sleep specialists hook you up to monitoring devices, adjusting them as needed
- Sleep specialists monitor while you sleep
- In the morning when you wake up you can shower and have a light, complimentary breakfast at our facility
Most of what happens is done automatically with computers monitoring your sleep related data.
What Should I Bring to My Sleep Study?
The best rule of thumb is to pretend you are having an overnight stay at a spa. Bring things like:
- Comfy and appropriate sleeping attire
- Any medications you are required to take
- Other things that help you sleep well, such as a favorite pillow
- Any night time related items, such as face wash or toothbrush
- A spare change of clothes (we have showers at our facility)
Other than basics, there is nothing special to bring.
How Long Does a Sleep Study Last?
Sleep studies typically last from late evening to the morning time.