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Insider’s Scoop on Sleep Studies

As part of Sleep Awareness Week, we asked Belle Eykmans, Marketing Coordinator at the Sleep Wellness Institue in West Allis, WI, to share what really happens during a sleep study. Belle was happy to oblige us with this article, as she enjoys educating the community on how they can live btter lives through better sleep.

april 27 sleep studySLEEP TENDS TO be a silent but important presence in the healthcare world. The number of people experiencing sleep problems increases every day, which increases the necessity for sleep studies.

At the Sleep Wellness Institute, we diagnose and treat various sleep disorders. Typically, we do this by conducting diagnostic sleep studies in which the patient spends the night at our facility.

What does the room look like?

bedroom at Sleep Wellnes Institute.jpgOur staff knows how intimidating it may be for some people to stay overnight in a foreign place. That’s why we try to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Each patient sleep room resembles a 5-star hotel room, with each room equipped with a:

    • Comfortable full/queen size bed
    • Television
    • Private bathroom with a shower

We encourage patients to bring anything from home that will help to make them feel more comfortable, such as their own pillow, blanket, a book or small electronics to stream movies or browse social media.

It is important for the patient to be able to sleep during the study so that we can obtain enough data to make a proper diagnosis. Otherwise, the patient may have to return for another sleep study. If the patient is worried about not being able to sleep, we recommend they consult with their primary provider beforehand to discuss the option of sleeping aids.

What happens during a sleep study?

The patient usually arrives between 8:00-9:30 p.m. Once in the room and dressed for sleep, various sensors are placed on the patient’s head, face, chest, legs and fingers.

    • Head sensors – measure brain activity through the different sleep cycles
    • Face sensors – measure eye movement and jaw tension
    • Leg sensors – monitor any jerking or kicking of the legs
    • Sensor belt across the chest – monitors heart rate
    • Finger monitor – measures oxygen levels throughout the night

These sensors are secured with a washable paste to avoid any disconnection and potential loss of important data.

Throughout the night, a sleep technician monitors the patient, ensuring everything goes smoothly. The patient can communicate with the sleep technician via intercom at any point during the study for various reasons, such as turning up the air conditioning or heat, bringing extra pillows and blankets, or asking for assistance with unhooking the sensors to go to the bathroom.

What happens in the morning?

In the morning, patients are woken up around 5:00 a.m. Patients are more than welcome to shower, get ready for work, and enjoy a dry continental breakfast before departing.

Sleep studies are an important tool for diagnosing sleep disorders and problems. If you are experiencing symptoms, such as excessive daytime fatigue, restless legs, snoring or sleep apnea, please consult your doctor or call us at the Sleep Wellness Institute.

Sweet Dreams!


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