Sleep Disorders Patient Care

Insomnia – a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Snoring – a partial obstruction of the upper airway shown to increase the risk of heart attacks and/or strokes. Loud, heavy snoring also can be a symptom of a more serious disorder known as sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea – a life-threatening disorder that causes a person to stop breathing periodically while sleeping

Narcolepsy – a neurological illness characterized by sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks and persistent daytime sleepiness

Nocturnal Myoclonus – a disorder characterized by excessive movement of the legs during sleep, which causes arousal, also known as Periodic Leg Movements.

Gastroesophageal Reflux – a disorder in which acid from the stomach “backs up” into the esophagus during the night, causing small awakenings.

Parasomnias – abnormal and recurrent nighttime behavior such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, night terrors, head banging etc.

When to consult a doctor

Ask yourself, as well as your sleep partner, the following questions to help determine whether you may need to consult a doctor for a referral to the CNI Sleep Disorders Service:

  • Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day?
  • Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
  • Do you awaken frequently during the night?
  • Do others say you snore loudly?
  • Do others say you stop breathing during your sleep?
  • Do you suddenly awaken, gasping for breath?
  • Do you get morning headaches?
  • Do you feel your body going limp when you are angry or surprised?
  • Do you experience vivid dreamlike scenes upon falling asleep or awakening?
  • Do you experience leg pain during the night?
  • Do others say you kick and thrash while asleep?
  • Do you wake up with heartburn, coughing or wheezing?
  • Do you have recurrent episodes of sleepwalking, nightmares or abnormal behavior while sleeping, such as violent actions, head banging, etc.?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you should talk to your physician about the CNI Sleep Disorders Service.

Getting a Sleep Evaluation

Most health insurance providers cover the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, but consult your insurance carrier to be sure the necessary tests are covered.

The CNI Sleep Disorders Service is an open sleep lab, meaning any physician may refer patients to us r if they are experiencing a sleep disorders. However, a doctor’s referral is necessary for a sleep study.

Download a printable physician information sheet you can share with your physician.

Patients who are not under the care of a physician and would like to have a sleep evaluation, visit our physician referral database or call 303.781.4485.

Sleep Evaluations

During a sleep evaluation, 10 tiny disks, called electrodes, are attached to a patient’s head and face with dissolvable glue. Another two electrodes are attached to the chest to monitor heart rhythm as well as near the shin on each leg. Airflow is measured by placing a probe under the nose and mouth, while breathing is monitored by special bands placed around the chest and abdomen. Lastly, blood oxygen levels are monitored with a probe attached to the patient’s finger. This probe shines a light through the finger to reveal how much oxygen is in the bloodstream.

No needles, electricity or radiation transmissions are used in the study. And, all equipment is attached in such a way so that patients can freely move during sleep. Plus, equipment can be easily removed to allow patients to use the bathroom at any point during the study.

All information is wired to a recorder, which continuously writes the information during the test. A technician will monitor the recording all night…so that all patients need to do is relax—and sleep!

Clinic Information

Preparing for the study

  • Patients should wash and dry their hair before arrival and avoid using any hairspray, conditioners or hair creams.
  • All nail polish should be removed.
  • Patients should avoid the use of caffeine, chocolate and alcohol the afternoon and evening of their test.
  • Medications should be taken as directed unless told otherwise by your physician. For medications typically taken at night, patients are asked t bring these with them to the study.
  • Patients should maintain a normal routine during the afternoon and evening and even eat a normal evening meal. For diabetic individuals who require snacks during the night, patients are asked to bring them along to the study.
  • Patients should pack as if they were staying in a hotel for a night– bring pajamas, toiletries, your own pillow and reading material. A television is also provided in the room. Snack and decaffeinated beverages are welcome as well. A microwave and refrigerator are available.
  • Please note: patients should reschedule the test if they are suffereing from a cold, sinus infection or other illness, since these may affect the results of the test.
  • All cancellations should be made 24 hours prior to the scheduled test.

Location of sleep study
Patients should check in at the Outpatient Admissions desk of SwedishMedicalCenter, which is located in the Emergency Room lobby of SwedishMedicalCenter. The entrance is located just off East Girard Avenue, between South Pennsylvania Street and South Clarkson Street. Free and convenient parking is available in the west parking garage on the corner of Logan and Girard. The SleepDisordersCenter is located on the fourth floor of the main hospital.

The morning after the test
After the technician removes the electrodes, patients may continue their normal morning routine. The test will conclude by 6-6:30 a.m. Breakfast will not be provided, unless patients have additional tests scheduled in the hospital. Patients can go to work after the test.

Test results
Each patient’s referring doctor will receive the test results in about three weeks.

More questions?
For additional questions, please 303.781.4485 anytime between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.