After the initial evaluation, appropriate testing and sleep studies are ordered depending on the particular problems that have been diagnosed. If a sleep test is necessary, a polysomnogram will be scheduled for the patient. During this process, electrodes (or wires) are attached to different parts of the body — for example, on the head (to determine sleep stages), near the eyes, on the chin and on the legs. The device detects episodes of disordered breathing by monitoring oxygen saturation, breathing efforts and airflow from nose to mouth. Heart activity and muscle movements are also monitored. Though somewhat inconvenient, polysomnography is painless.
The sleep test requires an overnight stay at The Sleep Center at Cookeville Regional. A technician is present to constantly monitor the patient's sleep throughout the night. Depending on the sleep evaluation and/or sleep study, the sleep specialist will make specific recommendations to a patient and his or her doctor. Treatment varies with the type of sleep disorder and may include sleep education, support groups, medication, surgery or the use of C-PAP, a mask worn over the nose during sleep to aid breathing.