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Polysomnogram (sleep study)

This is a recording that includes measurements used to identify different sleep stages and classify various sleep problems. We offer Diagnostic Testing, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Titration Testing and Multiple Sleep Latency Testing.

The testing process

The technician will attach electrodes (small metal discs) to the head and skin with adhesive. These electrodes monitor activities that go on in the body during sleep (brain waves, muscle movements, heart rate and leg movements). Flexible elastic belts are placed around the chest and abdomen to measure the breathing process. The heart rate and the oxygen level in the blood are measured by a clip on the finger or earlobe. The technical equipment is in another room (control room) separate from the bedroom. A technician will monitor the sleep process through the night from the control room. During the sleep cycle, the various body functions and measurements are recorded and monitored. A sleep specialist will review and interpret the record to help you and your health care professional understand your specific sleep problems.

Diagnostic testing

Centra offers overnight studies in the sleep lab. A patient stays overnight in a room – designed like a hotel – with monitors connected to their body to track sleep patterns. A certified polysomnographer runs the study and a board certified sleep physician reads the results to suggest treatment. The diagnostic study is the first night study when the sleep process is measured. This test will provide the sleep specialist information that is required to recommend treatment and determine the need for additional testing.

CPAP titration polysomnography

This test is performed when first study is positive for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The study involves fitting for a mask that is adjusted to fit comfortably over the nose. The mask is attached to a positive airway pressure device that treats breathing problems during sleep. This testing measures the sleep process while using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy. The record will provide the sleep specialist information that is needed for to recommend the appropriate pressure to treat the sleep apnea.

Split Night Testing

The Sleep Disorders Center offers Split Night Testing. Many insurance companies require that a split night study be ordered and for those patients who meet specified criteria, treatment can and should be attempted on those patients. This would allow having the patient diagnosed and treated all in the same night. It is very important to understand that even if the patient is not split, they may still have sleep apnea and likely need treatment. It just means that the patient did not meet the specified criteria for treatment in the allotted time available.

Home Sleep Testing (HST)

The Sleep Disorders Center also offers convenient home sleep studies. After being referred to the Sleep Center by a physician, patients can pick up a home study and are given a short tutorial on setting the simple system up. The next day, the patient returns the equipment, which records sleep patterns. The Sleep Center also provides a 24-hour number for patients to call with questions about setting up the home study equipment. The home study provides another alternative for patients to learn about their sleep patterns and seek additional treatment. Not all patients qualify for HST. The patient must be at least 18 years of age and have limited other medical conditions. Some of those may require the patient to spend the night in the lab for further testing.

Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT)

Nap Study. If indicated by the sleep study, a daytime study is performed. This testing is done from 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. A series of scheduled naps are taken during the day. The sleep patterns are recorded and monitored with the same equipment used with Polysomnography. The amount and type of sleep you get during these naps can help the sleep specialist understand your complaints and make decisions about treatment.

Positive Airway Pressure Nap (PAPNAP)

Centra's Sleep Disorders Center offers several programs to help patients struggling with sleepless nights and apnea. The Center recently began providing PAPNAPs, daytime sleep studies designed to make patients more comfortable using continuous positive airway pressure – or CPAP – machines at home.

People battling sleep disorders often complain about uncomfortable masks or pressures too high and eventually quit using their PAP device. Many insurance companies require patients to be compliant with PAP machines for 90 days or the equipment must be returned.

With a PAPNAP daytime study, technicians work with patients to adjust air pressure, find a comfortable mask and troubleshoot equipment problems. Patients must have a physician's referral for a PAPNAP, which typically lasts two to four hours at the Sleep Disorders Center at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital.

For more information on the sleep lab or any study, call the Sleep Disorders Center at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital at 434.200.4628.