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Sleep Study: What to Expect

What Happens at a Sleep Lab and What is a Sleep Study?

Overnight, painless sleep testing in a comfoprtable setting helps specialists determine what happens when you sleep.

Getting Ready

When a patient comes into the North Suburban Medical Center for Sleep Health, our sleep-lab manager will attach painless sensors (or electrodes) on each side of the forehead, next to the eyes, on the jaw, chest and legs. Then the patient crawls under a cozy comforter for an overnight sleep study called polysomnography, or PSG.

Recording Your Brain Activity During Sleep

The electrodes are hooked up to a computer and they record the electrical impulses in the patient's brain, as well as monitor breathing, heart rhythm and limb movements throughout the night. Our team can tell if a patient stops breathing, such in the case of sleep apnea where patients may stop breathing for more than 30 times every hour they are asleep.

Dr. Robert Smith, medical director of the Center for Sleep Health, says "that generally these patients don’t remember that they stopped breathing the next morning, but more likely they feel like they didn’t sleep well and aren’t well–rested." Which helps explain the importance of a comprehensive sleep testing in a sleep lab with trained and experienced specialists.

Sleep Study Results

Following your night of sleep at our lab, our sleep doctor reviews the findings and makes recommendations to your referring doctor. Treatment recommendations, may include the use of a face mask for sleep apnea or medications for other sleep-related problems.

Scheduling a Sleep Study

If you think you may be a candidate for a sleep study, you will need to obtain a referral from a primary care doctor or a specialist who suspects that you’re suffering from a serious sleep disorder. Once a referral is made, the Sleep Lab at North Suburban will contact your health insurance company before the study to get authorization for coverage.