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Sleep Center

We offer Reno’s newest and most comprehensive Sleep Center led by our team of pulmonary experts. Our providers utilize the latest technology and treatment programs to ensure our patients are met with long-term solutions for their sleep disorders. We are proudly accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

About Sleep Studies

A sleep study involves spending at least one night at the Sleep Center. You will enjoy a relaxing, private room in one of our bedroom laboratories. For your comfort, these laboratories look much like your bedroom at home. During your study, electrodes transmit and record your sleep patterns and specific information about your physical activities, such as breathing, brain waves, heart activity and eye and muscle movements, while you sleep. The recording techniques are noninvasive (external) and all electrodes are applied on the skin surface. The entire recording process is painless. The recordings become data which is analyzed by Sleep Center physicians and staff to determine the nature of your sleep disorder.

It is an over-night sleep study or Polysomnogram (PSG) is a special test performed where electrodes and sensors are applied to record heart, muscle, breathing, eye and brain function during sleep. These signals give the doctor information about what is happening physiologically while you sleep including the quality of your sleep, if you stop breathing periodically during the night or move a lot. The sleep study is performed in a comfortable, private room which looks just like a normal bedroom or hotel room. Patients are monitored continuously by a certified sleep technologist.

Why Do I Need a Sleep Study?

A doctor may order a sleep study if they suspect a patient has a sleep problem. Some medical conditions can interrupt your normal sleeping patterns, without you even being aware of them. These medical conditions make it difficult for you to reach the deep and restful state of sleep that you need. As a result, you may never feel completely refreshed when you wake up in the morning. Some common indications are:

  • Having difficulty getting or staying asleep
  • Snoring
  • Finding yourself extremely tired during the day or cannot function normally during the day
  • You’ve ever been told you have pauses in your breathing or gasping for breath while you sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Your legs are “active” at night or leg jerks disturb your sleep
  • Sleepiness and fatigue persist for more than two weeks

Types of Sleep Studies

  • Diagnostic – A diagnostic sleep study is done to determine if a patient has a sleep disorder and if so, what type. During a diagnostic sleep study, the electrodes and sensors are applied to see the whole picture of what is happening physiologically while you sleep.
  • Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Titration – A PAP titration is performed once it is determined a patient has sleep apnea. PAP is applied using a comfortable mask and started on a very low pressure. The pressure is increased to the point where the apneas are resolved. There are different types of PAP and during the titration, the technologist will determine the most effective modality and pressure. During a PAP titration sleep study, the same electrodes and sensors that are used in a diagnostic sleep study are applied as well as the PAP.
  • Split-night sleep study – A split-nigh sleep study consists of a diagnostic portion during the first half of the night and a PAP titration during the last half. Once it is determined that sleep apnea is present and certain criteria are met, CPAP can be started. We try to do this whenever possible to prevent a separate PAP titration study.
  • Home Sleep Test – Occasionally a sleep study can be done by wearing a device while the patient sleeps at home. The device is picked up from the sleep center where the patient is instructed on how to apply and use the device. The device is returned the following day and the data is downloaded and analyzed and a report is created. The Sleep Specialist will determine if a patient is a candidate for this test instead of an in-lab sleep study.
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – An MSLT is a special sleep study performed to determine how sleepy a patient is during the day. It consists of five naps throughout the day to see how quickly the patient falls asleep. The MSLT is conducted after a diagnostic sleep study.
  • Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) – an MWT is a daytime test used to measure how well a patient can stay awake during the day. It is commonly performed for those patients whose work depends on them being fully alert and awake during the day such as pilots, bus drivers and heavy equipment operators.

Does My Insurance Pay For A Sleep Study?

Yes, most major health care insurance carriers pay for sleep studies, however, patients should check with their insurance carrier for specific details.

About Saint Mary’s Sleep Center

  • Testing suites set up like a bedroom with cable TV, dimming lights, and easy access to a private bathroom and shower.
  • Registered/certified polysomnography technicians continuously monitoring our patients
  • State-of-the-art testing equipment and a central monitoring station
  • Tests interpreted by physicians who are board certified in Sleep Medicine, as well as Pulmonary or Internal Medicine

Commonly Asked Questions

Does It Hurt?

No. No part of the sleep study process is painful. The electrodes and sensors are designed to be comfortable enough to be conducive to sleeping. Occasionally, mild, short term skin irritation may occur where the sensors are attached but the sensors do not normally cause any significant discomfort.

How Do I Get The Results?

Patients who have a sleep study will be scheduled for a follow up visit with the Pulmonologist or Sleep doctor to get the results of their sleep study usually within a week or two of their sleep study. It is important to realize that if CPAP was started during your sleep study, which does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea and, if CPAP was not started that you don’t have sleep apnea. There are many different circumstances that occur during the sleep study but only the doctor can fully determine if there is a sleep disorder and the appropriate treatment for it. The sleep technologist cannot give results the morning following the sleep study.

What can I expect the night of my study?

On the night of your scheduled sleep study, you will be greeted by the technologist. They will conduct a brief interview, provide an explanation of the diagnostic procedure and answer any questions you may have concerning your stay. We will then apply the sensors and give you time to acclimate to your new surroundings. You will be in constant communication with the technologist throughout the entire test by intercom. You can use the restroom at any time during the night.

Please bring comfortable sleeping attire, as well as reading material, a laptop computer, or anything else that may help you relax prior to bedtime. You may also watch TV before the study begins if desired.

You will be released no later than 7:00 am the following morning. We can also arrange an earlier release if needed.

What can I bring the night of the test?

Please bring comfortable sleeping attire and any other hygiene products you may need to use prior to bedtime. If you have a favorite pillow or blanket, feel free to bring them with you. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your stay. You may also bring a snack, drink, or anything else you routinely use at bedtime. Bring any medications you normally take at bedtime or in the morning.

How should I prepare for the test?

Please avoid caffeine (such as coffee, tea, soda or chocolate) the entire day of your study. Do not take a nap after 12:00 pm the day of your study. Avoid alcohol unless otherwise directed by your physician. We also ask that you shower and wash your hair prior to the study. It is very important to not use lotions, oils, or hair products (such as gels or sprays) as this may interfere with the sleep study.

Can I take my usual medications?

It is important to discuss the use of medications with your physician prior to undergoing a sleep study. You should take all prescribed medications unless otherwise instructed. Please note, we do not provide any medications to aide in sleep.

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