Spending the Night in a Sleep Clinic: Everything You Need to Know

Summary: This blog talks about what usually happens before, during, and after a night in a sleep clinic.

Do you have problems sleeping? If your doctor has recommended that you have your sleep patterns investigated to see if you do have problems, such as sleep apnea, snoring or sleeplessness, or other concerns, then for a definitive answer you will have to have a polysomnogram. That requires a visit to a sleep clinic for a sleep study. 

During the study you will sleep the night in a private room in a lab with technicians monitoring your sleeping patterns, with the help of sensors that are attached to your head, face and body. The sensors detect brain wave activity, eye movement, blood oxygen levels and breathing activity, as well as the number of apnea incidents experienced per hour. This data will give a diagnosis of the severity of the problems to determine the best treatment plan.

Nervous? This is a completely different kind of sleepover than any you may have had before. If you are spending the night in a sleep clinic then here is everything you need to know.

The room that you sleep in will feel more like a hotel room than a hospital room. You may be sleeping in a laboratory, but the best results will not be achieved unless you feel right at home. You can wear regular pajamas, get ready for bed as normal, and adjust the temperature and lighting of the room to your preference. Despite the sensors, wires and electrodes, you should be as comfortable as possible and allowed to fall asleep naturally. It is a night, so arrive after 8 PM to give yourself time to be comfortable and expect to remain until the next morning. Check the list of guidelines that you will have received from the clinic to know what you can bring and when you should arrive.

After the study, you just have to wait for your results. They won’t be available right away, but they won’t take long. Further studies might be needed if the doctors don’t have all they need to recommend a course of treatment right away.

You and your sleep specialist will develop a treatment plan with an explanation of what happens as you sleep, and what may be the causes. The plan will likely include lifestyle and diet changes that will help your sleep eliminate some of the risk factors for sleep apnea, and the appropriate breathing devices for your goal. Typically, treatments don’t include medications, and surgery is only recommended for snoring in very rare cases, when nothing else has worked.

If the doctors suspect that the cause of your sleeping problems might be obstructive sleep apnea, then the breathing device most recommended is the CPAP machine. This device is a mask fitted over your nose and mouth, to keep the airways open in sleep so that the sleeper does not stop breathing.

Sleep apnea is dangerous and proper treatment is important. The visit to the sleep clinic will have you feeling better in no time. For more information about the devices that can help you, or for a referral to a sleep clinic, discuss the matter with your doctor or your sleep specialist at CPAP Solutions Inc.

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