Innovative Sleep Lab Helps Diagnose and Treat Sleep Disorders
March, 13, 2023
Few of us make it through each year without at least a handful of sleepless nights. Worrying about finances, loved ones and work stressors are enough to keep anyone awake from time to time. Research shows that activities that calm the mind (i.e. prayer, meditation, and breathing techniques), or habits that preserve a healthier state of mind (restricting caffeine, alcohol and screen time) can alleviate or even resolve insomnia, but how do you know when you need more help?
Kootenai Clinic Sleep Medicine director, Walt Fairfax, M.D. suggests “when a person is impaired due to insomnia or unable to get rested from a full night of sleep, it’s important for them to talk to their provider. If usual interventions don’t help, your provider can connect you to Kootenai Clinic Sleep Medicine.” When usual interventions aren’t effective this may be a sign that breathing disorders or movement disorders are the source of your sleep problem.
The specialists at Kootenai Clinic Sleep Medicine can diagnose up to 84 different sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and movement disorders of sleep. To help diagnose your particular sleep disorder, you may be given a test to determine the cause of your sleeping problem. This test is called a sleep study. A simple version may be done in the comfort of your own home to assess breathing and oxygen. Or, a more sensitive and detailed study in the Kootenai Health sleep lab can be done to measure your brain waves, sleep stages, heart rhythm, breathing effort, airflow, oxygen and muscle activity during sleep.
During your sleep study, sensors are placed on your body that provide sleep specialists with this detailed information which can often find the cause of your poor sleep. Patients rest comfortably in a private room equipped with a television, bathroom and shower. The test is non-invasive, not painful and provides an environment that is dark, quiet, and conducive for sleeping. After a patient drifts off to sleep, a sleep technologist located in another room monitors the data from these sensors while you sleep.
Following the test, a Kootenai Clinic medical doctor specialized in sleep medicine will review and interpret your study and will work with your provider to create a sleep plan that helps you sleep restfully.
If you are interested in a sleep study, please talk to your primary care physician who can investigate your sleep problems and refer you to Kootenai Clinic Sleep Medicine for a sleep study.
Questions? Contact Kootenai Health Sleep Medicine at 208.625.6675 or visit kh.org/sleep.