If you've ever had trouble sleeping, you may have thought about consulting a sleep clinic but weren't sure exactly how they worked. A sleep clinic is where you're able to get your definitive diagnosis.
What Is a Sleep Clinic?
A sleep clinic is considered a diagnosis center or lab. To be diagnosed, you'd be put in a room with equipment designed to study your sleep patterns. You'll generally sleep overnight while technicians who specialize in sleep medicine study your sleep behavior. After all the test results are gathered, your technicians will consult with the doctor on-site and they will figure out your official diagnosis.
What Is Sleep Medicine?
Sleep medicine is focused on finding and treating sleeping conditions and disorders. Sleeping conditions may not seem like they can cause other issues besides exhaustion and fatigue, but sleep is very important to the body. If sleep conditions are untreated for too long, they can take a toll on your body.
Untreated conditions can cause:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
What Are Some Common Diagnoses?
There are many conditions a sleep clinic can diagnose and treat. Some of the common ones include:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
Sleep Clinic Tests
There are many tests that can be performed at a sleep clinic, depending on your suspected diagnosis.
This is the most common test performed at a sleep clinic. Sensors are attached to your body overnight. This test is able to test your bodily functions while you sleep.
It can test things like:
- Brain activity
- O2 levels
- Body movements
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
This test is great for testing for insomnia, sleep apnea, movement during sleep, etc.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test
This test is completed during the day. It tests for narcolepsy and sleep apnea. It's usually completed after the polysomnogram. This test is completed by the subject taking five 20-minute naps throughout the day. It mainly tests eye movement and brain activity.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
This test will usually also be completed after the polysomnogram. Sensors are attached to the body again. This time the test is testing how sleepy the subject becomes during the day and how alert they are.
This is a test performed after sleep apnea is diagnosed. This is another overnight test to properly set up the CPAP machine with the correct amount of air pressure to help with the condition while the patient is sleeping.
Sleep Clinic Costs
Completing a sleep study at a sleep clinic can become pricey. If your regular doctor refers you to a sleep clinic, then usually your insurance will cover some or all of the cost of the study. Without a referral, studies from a sleep clinic can cost anywhere between $600-$5,000 per night, depending on the labs and tests completed.
Contact a medical facility like Elkview General Hospital to learn more.