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Screenings and Diagnosis

Try to maintain a regular time of going to bed and awakening for at least one week prior to sleep tests. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night. On the day of testing, please avoid all drugs that have an effect on your sleep: alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and sedative-hypnotic medications.

Several sensors will be placed in various positions on your face, scalp and body to record sleep/wake activity. You will be able to move freely from side to side during sleep. You may be asked to sleep on your back during testing.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) was developed by Dr. Johns while working at the Epworth Hospital in Melbourne in 1988. The ESS was developed to determine the level of daytime sleepiness in patients and is a self-administered questionnaire rating 8 different situations on a scale of 0-3.

The assessment below can tell you if you have anywhere from low to severe daytime sleepiness.

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you.

Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale
0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

Situation Chance of Dozing
​Sitting and Reading
​Watching T.V.
​Sitting, inactive, in a public place
​As a passenger in a car for 1 hour without a break
​Lying down to rest in the afternoon
​Sitting and talking to someone
​Sitting quietly after lunch
​In a car, while stopped for traffic or a light

Interpreting Your Score
0 – 5 Lower Normal Daytime Sleepiness
6 – 10 Higher Normal Daytime Sleepiness
11 – 12 Mild Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
13 – 15 Moderate Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
16 – 24 Severe Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

This self-administered assessment can be taken before your appointment with your sleep specialist but please note if you take the assessment before your appointment you will want to print out and bring your results with you. You can also take the assessment when you arrive for your appointment when you fill out your initial paperwork.

Sleep Study
A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is used to diagnosis sleep disorders. The goal of a sleep study is to determine what next steps to take in your care. Sleep studies are used to detect a range of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and REM sleep disorder behavior.

Home Sleep Study 
Home sleep studies are for adults age 18 and older. In a home sleep study, you'll wear portable monitoring devices while you sleep in your own bed.

How Can I Prepare for a Home Sleep Study

  • Stick to your normal daily routine as much as possible
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Don’t nap
  • Make sure the doctor is aware of any medications you take regularly
  • with the recording devices

In-Lab Study 
During an in-lab sleep study, special technology will be used to record your brain activity, eye movements, heart and breathing rates, muscle movements and more while you sleep. We will use similar technology to conduct daytime studies that monitor your alertness and ability to stay awake. Data from these studies is used to diagnose conditions that may be interrupting your sleep. This data is collected by special electrodes applied to your skin with tape or worn as a belt. You may also wear a heart monitor or breathing monitor. All sensors are linked to monitors that record your body’s activity.

How Can I Prepare for an In-Lab Sleep Study?
Check with the sleep center for any restrictions on what you can bring. In general, treat this stay as you would an overnight at a hotel—and bring the following:

  • Any medications you take that have been cleared by your doctor to use at night or in the morning
  • Your toiletries
  • Pajamas and slippers or non-skid socks
  • Your favorite pillows or blankets
  • A bedtime snack
  • A phone charger
  • Reading material
  • Something for breakfast

Pediatric Sleep Study
Children age six and older are eligible for in-lab sleep studies. Parents will remain with their children throughout the stay. You will want to make sure your child’s hair is washed before arriving, and plan to bring toys, books or a tablet for activities, along with any other items needed for sleep such as a special blanket or stuffed animal.

Sleep Study Results
Sleep study results will usually measure the following:

  • Sleep efficiency
    This is the measure of the total number of minutes a patient sleeps during a sleep study divided by the total amount of time they were recorded sleeping. So, the higher your sleep efficiency, the more time you spent asleep versus awake.
  • Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI)
    This measures how often a patient experiences sleep apnea or hypopnea, which is partial obstruction. Six or more recorded instance of either sleep apnea or hypopnea will produce a sleep apnea diagnosis.
  • Oxygen Desaturation Index (ODI)
    This is the measure of how often a patient’s oxygen level drops during sleep, resulting in disordered breathing. Normal oxygen levels are above 90%.
  • Heart rate
    Generally, a normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). More than this is called tachycardia, and less than this is called bradycardia.

A sleep study will take place in a specially equipped room in our lab. Our providers and staff work to make our patients as comfortable as possible while gathering information on how to support improving their sleep.

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