Learn More About What to Expect

Common questions about The Sleep Disorders Center at Northwest Texas Healthcare System are answered below.

What are the Typical Causes of Sleep Disorders?

Causes of sleep disorders include obesity; brain/neurological disorders and/or injury, pain medical issues/illness; medications; alcohol and drug use; stress; depression; genetics; shift work; and aging.

Who Should Have a Sleep Lab Test at Our Sleep Disorders Center?

Your physician will order a polysomnography—or sleep study—if they suspect sleep apnea or a sleep-related breathing disorder; PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder) and/or RLS (restless leg syndrome); narcolepsy; REM sleep behavior disorder; unusual behaviors during sleep; unexplained chronic insomnia; and other disorders. Check with your physician if you snore, have heard complaints about your snoring, wake up gasping or have excessive daytime sleepiness.

We offer an in-lab study for any of these reasons if your insurance approves. We also provide a home sleep testing with a doctor’s order.

Are There Any Risks Involved? Is Anything Uncomfortable?

Polysomnography is a noninvasive, painless test. Complications are rare. The most common side effect is skin irritation from adhesives. You will be wearing electrodes in your hair, on your face, and on your chest and limbs. Bands will be placed around your chest and abdomen. All of this combined may feel strange, but it will not hurt.

How Long Will the Patient be Under Observation?

Patients will be in the sleep lab for 10 to 11 hours and under observation for 7 to 9 hours.

What Does the Center Provide?

Our rooms are completely private with an adjustable head queen-sized bed with a comfortable mattress, linens, recliner and TV. Each of our rooms have their own private bathroom and shower with shampoo, conditioner and soap provided. The patient can go to the bathroom however often they need to during the night with some quick disconnect help from the sleep technician. Coffee, juice or drinks will be offered in the morning.

When Should the Patient Arrive?

Patients should arrive at 7:30 or 8:30 p.m., depending on their appointment time. They will be woken up around 5:30 or 6 a.m.

What Entertainment Can the Patient Bring?

Patients can bring whatever they like for entertainment, including electronics. There will be a TV in each room. All electronics and cell phones will be asked to be turned off at lights out to ensure a good uninterrupted sleep study and recording.

Are There Any Preparations Beforehand? What Will Happen the Day Of?

Patients need to shower/bath and wash hair before arriving at the sleep lab to allow electrode placement on scalp. No lotions, perfumes, hair gels, makeup, etc. are to be worn to help with electrode attachment on skin and in hair. A sleep questionnaire and paperwork will need to be filled out prior to study.

The patient will need to take ALL regular nighttime medications before arriving at the sleep center, unless it is dangerous to do so. We are not responsible for any medications you bring. Special circumstances or sleep aides are the exceptions. Please DO NOT take your sleep aide and then drive to your sleep study. If you uncertain or have a question, please feel free to call the Sleep Disorders Center.

Patients will also need to eat dinner before arriving. Please do not take any naps the day of the study. No alcohol is permitted; do not drink caffeine after 2 p.m.

Is it Necessary to Have Somebody With You the Day of the Exam and/or After the Exam?

You will not need someone with you during the night unless you are a child under 18 years old or require full or part-time care at home. The sleep techician will not be able to help with patient care. If you require care beyond getting to the restroom, you will need to bring a health provider with you. The health provider cannot sleep in the bed with the patient, but may sleep in the recliner in the room.