The Saint Francis Hospital Sleep Disorders Center is dedicated to helping people who suffer from sleep disorders. The Center is located on the first floor of the hospital, and has 12 large, comfortable rooms in which the tests are performed.
A technician is on hand to set up the equipment and monitor you throughout the study. Monitoring takes place from the fully computerized, state-of-the-art monitoring room located in the Center.
Once a diagnosis has been made, there are treatments available for sleep disorders.
A Visit to the Sleep Disorders Center
When you arrive for testing at the Sleep Disorders Center, you will check in at the department waiting room in suite 650 on the sixth floor of the William Building. (Be sure to park under the parking garage as assess can only be gained through the basement entrance.) From there, you will be directed to one of the Center's bedrooms for the testing. The amount of time you spend at the Center depends on the type of testing being conducted. The tests will be conducted overnight or during the hours you sleep. Although the equipment necessary to monitor your sleep may seem somewhat cumbersome, it is our goal to make this experience as comfortable for you as possible. Most people have no trouble sleeping and some comment that they even slept better than usual.
You will need to dress comfortably and bring any items you may need in the morning such as a toothbrush, soap, shaving equipment, clothes and other items. You may also shower at the Center as each bedroom has its own private shower.
Testing Available at the Sleep Disorders Center
The Saint Francis Hospital Sleep Disorders Center offers a variety of tests that may be recommended if you feel you are experiencing sleep disturbances. One or a combination of the following tests may be used in determining the sleep disorder.
Preparing For Your Sleep Study
In preparation for a sleep study, a technician will attach electrodes to your scalp, using an adhesive that is easily removed once your test is completed. Electrodes will also be attached to areas around your eyes, chin and legs. These electrodes will monitor brainwaves and eye and muscle movements during the night. A stretchy band will be placed around your chest and abdomen to monitor your breathing pattern. A corresponding air sensor will be placed under your nose to continually monitor the amount of air flowing through your nose or mouth. Your heartbeat will be monitored, as well as the level of oxygen in the blood. Blood oxygen levels will be monitored through a pulse oximeter. This is a small light sensor clip that fits over the finger to detect the amount of oxygen in the blood.
After the electrodes are attached and you are ready for bed, the electrodes are plugged into a box that connects you to a computerized polygraph, the device that compiles information while you are sleeping.
Sleep Disorders Center Staff
Dr. Richard Bregman, Medical Director
Richard Bregman, M.D. is the medical director for the Sleep Disorders Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine.
"Becoming an accredited sleep specialist is a major commitment to the study of sleep medicine. At the very minimum, a physician obtains two years of study in sleep disorders prior to becoming accredited by passing the exams," Dr. Bregman says. "An accredited sleep specialist not only interprets sleep studies, but also treats the various conditions diagnosed. He or she utilizes this broad knowledge of sleep medicine to treat patients suffering from a wide array of sleep disorders. This is a very progressive field of medicine that is becoming more important all the time."
The Sleep Center has many registered polysomnographic technologists, medical professionals who perform sleep studies. These professionals usually attend workshops sponsored by American Polysomnographic Society (APSS) or the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Becoming a registered polyomnographic technologist requires 18 months of experience, many hours of studying and passing the national registry exam. Upon passing the exam, a professional receives the title of registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT).
The polysomnographic technologist plays an important role in sleep studies. He or she monitors sleep parameters throughout the sleep period and also videotapes sleep activity. Once all the data is acquired, the technologist scores and prepares it for an accredited clinical polysomnographic physician to interpret. Technologists also meet with people who have concerns about possible sleep disorders and resolve patient therapy issues once sleep therapy is prescribed.
Completion of the Study and Notification of Results
Once the sleep study is complete, the polysomnographic technologist evaluates and scores the study and prepares it for the physician to interpret. You can expect to be contacted by your sleep physician within a week of the completion of your test. He will advise you of treatment or next steps in the process of correcting your sleep disorder.