Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome affect millions worldwide, impacting both mental and physical health. Fortunately, sleep studies offer crucial insights into these conditions, aiding diagnosis and treatment.

Various types of sleep studies are conducted, each employing distinct methodologies and tools to uncover different aspects of sleep patterns and disorders. This article will discuss what a sleep study is and the different types of sleep studies that your doctor may recommend.

What is a Sleep Study?

When your doctor sends you for a sleep study, you may wonder what is involved. Sleep studies are typically done in a sleep center or a hospital.

During a sleep study, a technician will monitor your vitals while you sleep and record what is happening in your body and brain. A sleep medicine doctor will then use the information collected to determine if you have a sleep disorder and what kind it is.

What Does a Sleep Study Diagnose?

Sleep studies can help diagnose sleep disorders, including:

How to Know if You Need a Sleep Study

You should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing sleep issues, daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, or fatigue. If you have weight problems, you should also be screened for sleep apnea.

Types of Sleep Studies

Different types of sleep studies are available. The sleep study that your sleep medicine doctor recommends will be based on your symptoms and the sleep disorders that you may be experiencing. Let’s explore the options.

Polysomnography (PSG)

Polysomnography stands as the gold standard in sleep studies. This comprehensive assessment occurs in a sleep lab or clinic. Patients are equipped with multiple sensors and electrodes placed strategically on their body. A sleep technician will monitor vitals such as eye movement, muscle and brain activity, breathing and airflow, body movements and positioning, oxygen levels, heart rate, and snoring.

Home Sleep Apnea Testing (HSAT)

Home sleep apnea testing is a simplified version of PSG designed specifically to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) conveniently at home. And while it may be more convenient for the patient, it can result in less information and is not overseen by a sleep technologist.

It typically involves wearing a small device that records data while sleeping. This portable device measures breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and heart rate during sleep. 

Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)

Multiple sleep latency testing evaluates daytime sleepiness that may be caused by narcolepsy or an unknown cause. After a polysomnography night, patients undergo a series of naps scheduled every two hours the following day. The test measures how quickly one falls asleep and enters REM sleep during these naps.

CPAP Titration

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the go-to treatment for sleep apnea. In CPAP titration, a sleep technologist determines how much pressure a patient needs from their CPAP machine to ensure it’s properly programmed for use at home.

A second sleep study is typically required for CPAP titration. However, if sleep apnea is suspected, you may be able to do a split-night sleep study. In a split-night sleep study, during the first half of the night, polysomnography is used to diagnose sleep apnea, and in the second half of the night, CPAP titration is performed.

Costs Associated With a Sleep Study

It can be challenging to estimate the cost of a sleep study. The type of sleep test being performed and facility charges will affect the total cost. It also depends on if your insurance covers a sleep study.

If your doctor recommends a sleep study and your insurance denies the test, you can appeal their decision. To do this, you would need to provide medical documentation as to why the test is necessary. Your doctor should be able to help you get the required paperwork together to file the appeal.

Let DreamZz Sleep Center Help You Get Back to Sleep

Sleep studies play a vital role in unraveling the complexities of sleep, contributing significantly to improving the quality of life for those affected by sleep disorders. Each type of sleep study serves a unique purpose in diagnosing and understanding sleep disorders. The choice of sleep study depends on the suspected sleep disorder, the required depth of information, and patient comfort.

When you put your care in the hands of DreamZz Sleep Center, you can expect to receive detailed information about your symptoms and treatment options from a knowledgeable, fellowship-trained, Sleep Medicine board-certified physician.

We guarantee a consultation and sleep study within one to two weeks of your initial call. That means you can begin treatment in less than a month!

Contact us today for a consultation.