515 Main Street, Olean, New York 14760
(716) 373-2600

Olean General Hospital

SLEEP STUDIES - WHAT TO EXPECT

If you have been diagnosed with a sleep problem or disorder, your primary care physician will refer you to the Sleep Disorders Center of Olean General Hospital where you will participate in a sleep study. A sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) is a test that records your physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness. It provides data that are essential in evaluating sleep and sleep-related complaints, such as identifying sleep stages, body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rate, amount of snoring and general sleep behavior.

Your doctor's office will help you make an appointment with the sleep center for your visit, which will probably take place at night (We do offer daytime sleep studies for night shift workers).

You may participate in a "split-night" test, in which half the night will be used to diagnose your sleep problem, and the other half will be used to treat the problem. This is sometimes done with patients who are being tested for sleep apnea.

On the night of your sleep study, you should arrive at the Sleep Dirsorders Center by 8 p.m. for a night test. You can report directly to front desk of the Sleep Disorders Center where a polysomographic technician will meet you and take you to your room. You may be asked to complete a questionnaire on your sleep the night before. We will have you watch a video explaining the sleep study process and some specific disorders such as sleep apnea. After the video you will be asked to change into nightclothes.

After changing, the polysomographic technician will connect you to the electrodes that will record your brain waves and muscle movements throughout the night. The electrodes are placed in specific areas and applied with water-soluble glue and tape. The electrodes record brain waves, muscle movement, rapid eye movement (REM), air intake, and periodic limb movement. A microphone attached to your neck records snoring, and two belt-like straps around the chest and lower abdomen monitor muscle movement during breathing. Despite all of the equipment, most people say it doesn't disrupt their sleep.

After settling into bed, your technician may go to a monitoring room and ask you over an intercom to perform certain tasks that will show the electrodes are recording properly. You will be observed on a television monitor during the night, but that is to allow the technician to note your body movements during sleep.

When everything is working properly, the lights will be turned off and you can go to sleep. Many patients are so chronically tired that they have no problem falling asleep. While you are sleeping, your brain waves will be recorded to determine when you are awake or in Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 or REM sleep. You will be awakened in the morning and the electrodes will be removed. Since they are applied with water-soluble glue or tape, removal isn't painful. You will need to make an appointment with a sleep specialist to review the results of your study. You might be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning your sleep the previous night, and then you can go home.

Based on the results of your sleep study, you may be given treatment for a specific sleep disorder. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, which is a device that gently blows air into your nasal passages to keep the airway open while you are asleep.

To learn more about CPAP, visit the website of our preferred partner in Cardio-pulmonary equipment: Olean General Healthcare.

Sleep Disorder Center
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