Here’s the scenario: You live with and sleep next to a chronic snorer. They are a loud “bed partner“who unbeknownst to them are causing you sleepless nights too!
What do you do? Move yourself to another room? Sure, if you have the space.
What are you options? Kick them out of bed? Maybe if you have a comfortable sofa for them to sleep on.
Chances are they need to have a sleep study conducted to rule out any potential medical conditions for their loud snoring. So how do you go about that? Who is involved?
Below is an outline of everyone involved in a sleep study, their role, and how they affect the sleep study.
Everyone Who is Involved in a Sleep Study:
No one knows how you sleep better than you. Well, accept for your bed partner, who is likely missing out on a good night’s rest if you are an inconsistent or poor sleeper.
It is imperative to receive a good night’s sleep so the body can complete all the phases of muscle repair, memory consolidation and the release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. The one-third of our lives that we spend sleeping, far from being “unproductive,” plays a direct role in how full, energetic and successful the other two-thirds of our lives can be.
One of the most proactive things you can do is journal your sleep to find any inconsistencies. From here you can take this sleep journal to your physician or primary care provider to further study.
Primary Care Physician
Once you have decided that your lack of sleep is important to you and possibly affecting your daily life, a simple visit to your doctor to discuss further actions regarding your sleep is your next step.
Bring your sleep journal (mentioned above) and discuss any sleep hygiene practices that you have already tried. This will make the likelihood of being referred to a sleep clinic more likely if you have already taken steps to get better sleep, but have been unsuccessful.
The doctor will establish your general sleep patterns and decide if a sleep study is needed. Your doctor will provide a sleep clinic with your referral request.
If you do not have an established relationship with a doctor already, then a sleep consultation with a board certified sleep specialist can easily be arranged.
Also note that some insurance providers such as Medicare and Medicaid require you to have a consult appointment with a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine before they will cover a study. This is to assure your care is properly managed by a sleep specialist.
Sleep Clinic Administration Staff
The administrative staff conducts a lot of work behind the scenes so you don’t have to. They correspond with the referring doctors or sleep specialists regarding the type of study requested, and assist you in getting all your insurance and payment requirements set up prior to your scheduled sleep study.
Once you are contacted to make an appointment for your sleep study they will have you fill out a patient packet in advance. A patient packet is detailed account of your health and sleeping habits. At this point having a completed sleep journal will help you in this process.
This detailed information is used by the sleep tech/doctor to help aid in your sleep study.
Night Polysomnographic Technologist (Sleep Tech)
Once you have been scheduled for a sleep study you will check in for your appointment. One of the staff will greet you and lead you to your bedroom and explain the sleep study process.
The sleep technician will be the person who hooks you up to a variety of monitoring equipment for your polysomnographic sleep study.
This will be a good time for you to ask any questions about how the study works. You should inform them of any recent changes in your sleep. Also tell your technician about any specific problems that you did not already discuss with your doctor.
The analysis of a sleep study is a complex and time-consuming process. A typical sleep study produces about 1,000 pages of data.
This information includes things such as brain waves, eye movements, and breathing patterns. It requires hours of work from a trained professional to accurately analyze the results. A sleep technologist processes, or "scores," all of this data.
Once the test is scored, it will be sent off to a Board Certified Sleep Specialist for diagnosis.
Sleep Doctor/Board Certified Sleep Specialist
At an accredited center, this doctor must be a board-certified sleep specialist. The doctor will review the study results to find out what kind of sleep problem you may have.
Because of all the pages of data and the amount of time involved, it usually takes approximately 3-5 working days for you to get the results.
Once the study is complete, the administration staff will send out the final study results to you or your primary care provider/doctor and set up any follow up consultations.
Durable Medical Equipment Technician (DME Tech)
If your results show you need further medical equipment, the board certified sleep doctor will write you a prescription, where you will then discuss your equipment options with a DME tech depending on your results and recommendations provided by the sleep specialist.
A DME tech handles your equipment needs, which can include selecting and ordering equipment and ensuring equipment delivery.
The DME technician also tests and maintains equipment to ensure proper functionality and will provide you with personal training on the use of equipment.
Why are so many people involved during a sleep study?
The reason you will speak to and see so many people during the course of your study is that each person is an expert in their field giving you the best care and attention.
If you live in Alaska and are looking for a quality sleep clinic to help you with your sleeping problems, you can schedule a free 10-minute phone call by clicking the link below. If you want to get a feel for the kind of services we provide and check us out in person click here for a list of our facilities and locations.
You can also download our free e-book on everything you need to know about sleep studies by clicking the link below.