Sleep Studies

Trouble sleeping can indicate a more serious medical problem. A sleep study can give you answers.

Woman sleeping with a CPAP device

Millions of American people of all ages regularly fail to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep disorders may indicate serious underlying medical problems, such as heart and blood vessel disease. These disorders may also lead to endangering your safety and that of others through traffic or industrial accidents. They may lead to difficulty staying awake, problems falling asleep and staying asleep, sleep walking, bedwetting and nightmares.

St. Anthony’s Sleep Center offers sleep studies for patients to detect various sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), problematic nighttime behaviors (i.e. sleepwalking), insomnia, and certain medical conditions such as periodic limb movement disorder.

A physician referral is required for a sleep study. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, see your primary care physician.

St. Anthony’s Sleep Center area includes two comfortable patient rooms. The two beds are set up like comfortable hotel rooms with TV, bathroom, and furnishings to make the patient feel more at home. For those who like "white" noise when they sleep, white noise machines, CD player, radio, iPod docking station and oscillating fans are available. To provide further convenience for patients, they are offered a continental breakfast and beverages to enjoy or to take with them when they leave for the trip home.

Female nurse connecting leads to man for sleep study

Preparing for a sleep study in our center

The study is scheduled during the patient’s normal sleep periods, i.e. daytime or nighttime.

  • Please take all of your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Bring a photo ID.
  • Bring your insurance card .
  • If you prefer, you may bring your own pillow.
  • If you received a questionaire, please fill it out and bring it with you. If not, you will fill it out at the time of your sleep study.
  • You can expect to be at the Sleep Center for approximately six to seven hours.
Man at home with CPAP machine

Doing an at-home sleep study

The at-home sleep test involves the use of portable-monitoring equipment that you wear during sleep in the comfort of your own home. It consists of a small recording device, lead wires, a few sensors, and a belt to secure the device while you sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines stress that only select adults are likely to benefit from a home sleep test. Home sleep tests are only recommended for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have a moderate to severe probability of OSA.

St. Anthony’s Sleep Center offers this test as an option for patients that do not meet insurance guidelines for an in-lab study. Having a sleep study in the comfort of your own home may be more comfortable than an in-lab study for those that are apprehensive or uncomfortable sleeping in a strange environment. However, your physician will need to decide if you are a candidate for an in-home study.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Snoring can be a problem for many Americans, often disrupting the sleep of the person who has to listen to it. But some snoring can be more than just a nuisance and can disrupt the health of the snorer if they suffer from sleep apnea. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea is very common, as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than twelve million Americans. 

The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." 

There are three kinds of sleep apnea, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). All three kinds of sleep apnea cause people to stop breathing repeatedly during their night's sleep. OSA occurs when the throat muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissues of the neck to collapse and block the airway. This leads to partial reductions and complete pauses in breathing, lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. These pauses reduce the amount of oxygen saturation in the body, with levels dropping 40 percent or more in some cases. 

The typical person suffering from sleep apnea is male, overweight and over the age of 40 but anyone at any age can suffer from the disorder.

Sleep apnea can often go undiagnosed and untreated, leading to some potential serious health consequences. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Untreated sleep apnea may also be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.

Who gets sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can occur in men, women and children of all ages and sizes. People who do not seek diagnosis and effective treatment for OSA can be at risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rhythms or heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Increased likelihood of driving or work-related accidents.