Undergoing a sleep study can be intimidating for many patients.
Listed below are frequently asked questions patients have when coming to the Duke Sleep Disorders Laboratory and answers from our sleep laboratory technicians.
After arriving, you will be escorted to your room where you can change into your sleepwear.
Your technologist will take you to one of our set-up rooms and begin the process of applying the electrodes and sensors needed for your study. This process takes approximately 45 minutes.
Once everything is connected properly, you will return to your room to enjoy some relaxation before bedtime. Usually, you may choose your own bedtime as long as it is at or before 11 p.m. When the recording begins, the technologist will test the equipment and then say "good night."
In the morning, the electrodes and sensors will be removed and you will be ready to leave the sleep lab by 7 a.m.
There is a microphone in the room that enables the technologist to hear you when you need assistance. The technologist will come and unhook one cable by your bed. The wires and the box that you are attached to will rest around your neck so that you can move freely.
Many patients have doubts about their ability to sleep during a sleep study. If you have difficulty sleeping at home, you may be concerned that it will be even more difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar environment.
In most cases, there is measurable sleep activity that can be monitored even though it may feel like you’re not sleeping. Even patients with serious sleep issues are typically able to sleep long enough to produce helpful study data.
Patients may bring a guest to help them get settled. Your guest is welcome to stay until you are ready to go to sleep and start the study.
Guests who want to stay in the hotel should call 866-866-8086 to make a reservation.
In situations where a caregiver or aide is needed, a rollaway bed will be provided in the patient’s room.
You should continue to take all prescribed medications as you usually do unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Bring any medications with you that need to be taken while you are in the sleep lab as we are not allowed to give any medication to patients.
The study is non-invasive and not painful. The sleep lab environment is dark, quiet, and conducive for sleeping. However, the presence of the wires and electrodes occasionally affects the sleep of some patients.
If anything feels uncomfortable or if you have experienced skin irritation due to similar testing in the past, please tell your technologist so that adjustments can be made.
A board-certified sleep physician will review the sleep recording along with your clinical history in order to arrive at a diagnosis.
The technologist cannot discuss any results with you.
Once the physician reviews and interprets the study, a final report will be forwarded to your physician within one to two weeks. Please follow-up with your physician following your study.
If you prefer to discuss the results and your options with one of our sleep specialists, you may call 919-684-2057 to schedule an appointment.
A hotel provides a more comfortable, home-like setting than a medical office or hospital. We feel this setting is more conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.
The Millennium Hotel also provides a secure, relaxed atmosphere with easily accessible parking and a private room and bathroom for each patient.
Our financial care counselor attempts to verify insurance and obtain necessary authorizations prior to your scheduled sleep study.
If you have any questions or concerns about specific coverage, we recommend that you check with your insurance company to make sure that a sleep study is covered under your plan. It is also important to ask them if there is a deductible, co-pay, or any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the sleep study.
Ultimately, insurance coverage is your responsibility; however, we can assist you with questions.
While there is no one in the room with you, a technologist will be recording data while you sleep to ensure an accurate recording. There is an infrared camera in your room that allows the technologist to monitor your position, movements, and need for assistance.
No. Either your physician or the sleep specialist will write a prescription for the machine and order it from a medical equipment company.
Our sleep lab requires a physician’s referral before scheduling your sleep study. We have a referral form that the physician completes and faxes to us so that we have information regarding your symptoms and the type of study you need.
If the physician does not already have our referral form, we can fax one to his or her office.
We recommend patients bring both a top and a bottom to sleep in. The belts that are placed around the chest and abdomen will slip less when placed over a shirt or top.
Satin and silk fabrics are not recommended due to the build-up of static electricity, and they also cause the belts to slide. If you prefer, we can provide a hopital gown to wear.
Patients are usually scheduled to arrive at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., or 9 p.m. This allows us to stagger our set-up times so that there is a minimum wait for the technologist to prepare you for the study.
The technologists start waking patients up at 5:30 a.m. If you require an earlier wake-up time, please let the technologist know prior to bedtime.
A sleep study provides an evaluation of your sleep patterns and helps to determine if you have a sleep disorder. It is important to diagnose and treat sleep disorders as they can lead to other health problems such as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and depression.