Sleep disorders can interfere with your ability to perform at work, drive a car, and enjoy your life. WVU Medicine doctors from a range of fields help patients overcome sleep problems. Our team includes physicians from psychiatry, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat specialists), pediatrics, neurology, and pulmonary medicine.
The most common kinds of sleep disorders are:
- snoring and sleep apnea
- restless leg syndrome
The WVU Sleep Evaluation Center identifies and helps resolve sleep-related disorders. Your primary care provider or family doctor can refer you for a sleep study to determine the cause of a sleep disorder.
Testing for all types of sleep disorders is conducted by experienced technologists trained in preparing patients for and conducting sleep studies. The study results are interpreted by doctors who are board certified in treating sleep disorders.
If you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, comprehensive treatment is available to you.
WVU Sleep Evaluation Center
The WVU Sleep Evaluation Center provides services that identify and treat sleep-related disorders. Sleep studies are performed on patients two years of age and older.
Patients must be referred by a physician. Any primary care physician can refer a patient to the WVU Sleep Evaluation Center for a sleep study.
Testing for all types of sleep disorders is conducted by experienced technologists trained in preparing patients for and conducting technically correct sleep studies. The study results are interpreted by doctors experienced in treating sleep disorders.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study, or polysomnogram (PSG), allows doctors to evaluate how well and how much you are sleeping. While you are sleeping, a trained technologist is monitoring a variety of your body functions:
- heart rate
- brain waves
- blood pressure
- body movements
- breathing patterns
- sleep patterns
Why do I need a sleep study?
Quality sleep is essential for good health. Certain conditions disrupt sleep and prevent its normal restorative function. These conditions can include:
- sleep apnea
- restless leg syndrome
- parasomnias (nightmares, sleep-walking and talking, bed-wetting)
- GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux)
These sleep problems also can cause a variety of symptoms. Sleep disorders may cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, aggravated heart conditions, cardiac arrhythmias, and many other medical disorders, including morning headache, mood changes, depression, impotence, and hypertension.
Types of sleep studies
There are different types of sleep studies to help evaluate a variety of disorders:
Polysomnogram – evaluates snoring and sleep apnea (periods of interrupted breathing).
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Study – this is a polysomnogram, but it includes a mask that is fitted around the nose and/or nose and mouth. A steady stream of air is introduced to open the airway to prevent snoring and apnea. The technologist makes adjustments to the airflow until the patient is able to breathe and sleep comfortably.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – A MSLT determines how long it takes you to fall asleep. The MSLT takes place the day after your all night polysomnogram. You will have scheduled naps at 2-hour intervals throughout the day. The technician monitors your awake and asleep time. This study is done to evaluate excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) – A MWT evaluates your ability to stay awake. This is an important test for pilots, long-haul truckers, and others who need to stay awake for public safety.
After your study, the results are given to a doctor who is a board-certified sleep specialist. The doctor will interpret the study and, based upon the findings, will provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan. If your study is abnormal, the doctor may order an additional study called a CPAP study (continuous positive airway pressure). After the completion of your testing, you and your physician will be given the study results.
What can I expect?
You will arrive at the Sleep Center at a scheduled time, usually at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., or 10 p.m. Upon arrival, you will be registered, and your information will be entered into a computer.
Your technologist will show you to your private room where you will change into nightwear. When you are comfortably seated, the technologist will begin applying the electrodes, respiration belt, and other devices to your head and body. These are applied with paste that is easily removed with your morning shower.
Once the technician has completed the hook-up, the lights will be turned out, and you will go to bed. While you are in bed or sleeping, the technologist will be monitoring your data and your video on the computer. You are video-taped for the duration of your study.
At the completion of the study the next morning, the electrodes are removed, and you are free to shower. The technologist and doctor will evaluate your study and, in about 2 weeks, will send the results to your referring physician.
The WVU Sleep Evaluation Center is nationally accredited by both the Joint Commission and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).