Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. The way you feel while you are awake can depend on what happens while you are sleeping. Sleep-related issues affect many people, and can negatively impact such important things as safety, relationships, school/work performance, thinking, mental health, and weight.
Insufficient sleep has also been linked to the development of chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and depression. Sleep disorders can affect men, women and children of all ages.
Spartanburg Regional conducts sleep studies at three nationally accredited sleep centers, as well as home sleep testing. Since 1985, we’ve been providing sleep testing and treatment making us one of the oldest diagnostic sleep centers in the Southeast.
If you or any member of your family is not resting well, there may be a simple solution.
A sleep study must be ordered by a physician, and is performed to gather the information needed to diagnose a sleep disorder. This is done overnight in a private room at one of our nationally accredited sleep labs, or at home. We identify your sleep patterns by monitoring your oxygen, heart, brain and breathing. Once the sleep study is complete, we recommend the most appropriate treatment to address your needs.
Our sleep centers offer:
- Over 35 years of sleep medicine experience
- Full service centers for all aspects of sleep care and disorders
- Testing seven nights each week
- Daytime testing for shift workers
- Education about sleep disorders and prescribed treatment
- Licensed and registered staff, including five physicians who are board certified in sleep medicine
- Accommodations with private bathrooms
Frequently Asked Questions
Your doctor has ordered a sleep study due to a concern that you may have a sleep disorder that is affecting your health. The goal of the study is to obtain data that will help the physician determine the next steps in your care.
For example, the most common type of sleep problem, sleep apnea, is a disorder in which your breathing is irregular at night. This causes stress on your heart, which can lead to low oxygen levels, hypertension, and heart rhythm problems. It may also lead to increased plaque build-up in the arteries of your heart and/or brain and is therefore associated a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
You will be given your own sleeping room with a private bathroom for the night of the sleep study. You will have a television in your room that you can watch until 11 p.m.
The sleeping room contains a camera and an intercom system that is monitored throughout the night by your technician.
While you are sleeping, your body physiology is different from when you are awake. As a result, we need to take several different measurements during the sleep study including heart rate, breathing, sleep stages (as measured by the EEG on your scalp), oxygen levels, and movement. These measurements help us determine the causes of your sleeping concerns.
Before you go to bed at the sleep lab, your technician will attach special sensors to several areas of your body. The sensors are painless and held in place with a gentle medical-grade tape/gauze or water-soluble paste.
The sensors used in a sleep study are attached to the surface of your body, and an oxygen cannula measures the air flow coming in and out of your nose. EKG patches are placed on your chest to measure your heart rate, and similar patches are placed on your legs and arms to measure movement.
About ten electrode patches are attached to your head with a small amount of water-soluble paste to detect your brain waves and sleep levels. You may have some paste residue in your hair after the study that is easily washed away in the shower.
You will wear an elastic belt around your chest and abdomen to measure how your body moves while you breathe, and a sensor on your finger measures oxygen levels.
Of course, we know that sleeping with all of this is not as comfortable as sleeping at home, and we expect that your sleep will be somewhat disturbed while being tested. However, we will do our best to make you comfortable, and even if you sleep for only a few hours, we can collect a lot of useful information.
No. The sensors are connected to a small box about the size of a cell phone that rests on the bedside table, and is connected to the polysomnogram recording device that sends data to the technician. If you need to get up, the technician can disconnect the box from the recording device and you can move freely about the room.
If you need to use the restroom, you can call out and your technician will hear you on the intercom and immediately be there to assist you by disconnecting the box from the recording device so you can walk freely to the private bathroom in your room.
The lab has standard beds, pillows, and linens. Two of our locations have adjustable beds. You are welcome to bring your own pillow and blanket if you feel they would help you rest more comfortably.
Yes, the temperature can be adjusted according to your request. Please let the technician know if you prefer to have the room hotter or cooler.
We will try to avoid waking you, but it is possible that the technician will need to do so in order to adjust cables or replace any sensors that might fall off.
If we find that you have a breathing disturbance that meets the criteria for severe apnea within the allotted time, the technicians may try to give you treatment by initiating positive air pressure therapy. This intervention only occurs if you meet certain criteria.
Our goal is to collect the best data we can about you while you sleep. To do this, we will want to see you sleep in your usual positions, but we may also ask you to sleep in other positions as well. Some people have severe problems with apnea when they sleep on their back, but none when sleeping on their side. If you have only been sleeping on your side during the study, the technician may come into the room and ask you to try to sleep on your back. If you never sleep on your back or can’t sleep in that position, we will not require you to do so.
Yes, you should take your usual medications on the night of the sleep study unless otherwise indicated by your doctor. You should bring any medications you take at night since we will not be able to order any for you. If you take medication that makes you drowsy or unsafe to drive, do not take it until you get to the sleep center. If your doctor orders any special medication for you to take on the night of the sleep study, please bring it with you. We do not have access to any medications.
If you usually drink alcohol more than twice a week, then it is probably a good idea to drink the same amount of alcohol on the night of your study and have a friend or family member drive you to the sleep study. You should not drink and drive to the lab.
The results of the sleep study are not immediately available, and your technician is not allowed to discuss anything with you about your study. The data collected from your study will be carefully evaluated by a physician who specializes in sleep disorders, and the results will be sent to the referring physician. If your physician is comfortable treating sleep disorders, they will follow up with you to initiate the recommended treatment. Otherwise, an appointment can be made with one of our sleep disorder specialists.
In some cases, patients who have apnea will be able to try some form of treatment on the night of their first study, but for this to happen, they must demonstrate severe obstructive sleep apnea within the allotted time.
However, about one in four patients will need to return for another night, after their sleep study has been reviewed, to test and evaluate which treatment works best for them.