What Happens at a Sleep Center?
A physician’s office or you, if you do not need a referral from a physician, will call to make an initial appointment with one of our sleep physicians. The Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama accepts most major insurance; if you are unsure about your insurance please contact your insurance company or one of our insurance specialists. You will receive a sleep history questionnaire, HIPPA information, release of medical records and directions to our center by mail. You will need to complete this information before your scheduled appointment or your appointment will be rescheduled. Your initial appointment will take an hour to an hour and a half. The doctor and you will go over the questionnaire, followed by a brief examination. If a sleep study is ordered, a date will be scheduled after you see the doctor. The average wait for a sleep study is approximately two weeks. Specific instructions will be given to you by the scheduling coordinator, at which time your insurance benefits will be verified. You will receive a call reminding you of the study two to three days prior to the sleep study.
The night or day of your sleep study, you will arrive at 7:30 p.m. The sleep technologist will greet you upon arrival. He or she will show you to your room and explain the night’s procedures. The private rooms are equipped with television and standing shower in the bathrooms. Your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate will be measured. You will then be asked to complete a couple of short questionnaires and change into your sleeping clothes that you brought. The technologist will come in shortly to explain the hook up and proceed to attach adhesive or stick electrodes on you for the sleep study. Your study will begin around 10:00 p.m. unless a preferred time is requested when scheduling the sleep study. The technologist will monitor your study and all data during the night. Some of the collected computer data consists of (but may not be limited to), E.E.G. or brain waves, muscle tension, eye movements, heart rhythm, oxygen saturation, breathing, and video/audio recording. Upon study completion the wires will be removed, blood pressure taken, and you will complete simple sleep questionnaires. At this point you will be able to take a shower, have coffee, eat breakfast, and/or watch television.
The doctors usually start seeing patients between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. to discuss your experience, the results, and any treatment options. If you need a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) someone will be in to give you benefits for this treatment and a choice to use our center or a durable medical equipment company. Most patients should be able to leave the facility between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. An appointment will be scheduled after your visit with the doctor. At the appointment, you will discuss your progress or issues regarding your sleep disorder or disorders. The follow up appointment usually lasts no more than 30 minutes to an hour.