A sleep facility can be as simple as a normal doctor’s office where sleep physicians consult with patients; or it can be a dedicated center with a sleep laboratory staffed with sleep physicians, psychologists and sleep technicians.
A laboratory typically has a number of bedrooms, each equipped with devices and recorders that capture the physiological signals required to complete a gold-standard sleep study. Additional equipment will record behaviors, noise, snoring and so forth. A central control room allows skilled technicians to monitor simultaneous overnight tests of patients in the bedrooms.
When a patient arrives at the laboratory before his/her normal bedtime, the night technician goes through a standard routine of attaching various types of sensors to the patient’s body. Patients then go to sleep at their usual bedtime and are awakened in the morning by the technician, who then removes the sensors.
A sleep technician scores the raw data immediately after the test. A sleep physician reviews the result, and then interprets the data with clinical information collected before the test.
Accredited sleep centers offer the following services:
- whole-night sleep studies (in the lab or ambulatory)
- partial sleep studies
- daytime sleepiness tests (Multiple Sleep Latency Test and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test)
- expert consultation on all aspects of sleep and sleep disorders
- treatment for sleep-related problems that the facility diagnoses