Using Sleep Labs For Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

You may be wondering what sleep labs are and what would necessitate having a sleep lab. If so, here are a few answers to your questions. A sleep lab is a specialized facility that is set up for the average person to spend the night so that tests can be performed. The tests are to determine if the person is suffering from a sleeping disorder which could prevent them from getting enough rest or could be dangerous to their health.  Sleep Apnea treatments are then recommended if indeed a disorder is discovered.

Since the 1990s sleep labs have been becoming popular.  They are a way of testing a person to determine if they are suffering from a variety of sleeping disorders. With the rising number of problems including sleep apnea, snoring and other disorders, the need for the lab is growing. Many people have sleep related problems. A sleep lab finds out what they are and helps to overcome them.


Many sleep labs are set up like bedrooms to put the patient at ease. Today in the U.S. there are approximately 3500 sleep labs operating. Almost half of them are accredited. They are awarded this accreditation when they have shown compliance with the standards set forth by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Most sleep labs are a 2-bed, 4-bed, 6-bed or 8-bed facility. Normally 2-bed labs are higher in the number of people being tested. The large number labs are normally located where the population is not very large. The physician education on sleep disorders is becoming more of a focus today as many doctors received no training prior to their debut into practicing medicine. Only in the last few years have medical schools begun to offer this very important aspect of medicine in their curriculum.

What to Expect

When going in for testing, you will be put in a private room. A trained technologist will be responsible for monitoring your breathing, brain wave activity, blood oxygen levels and the body movement you make while sleeping. Every part of the study is monitored by a physician. The study usually only lasts one night although there are times when more than one night may be required.

Sensors are fitted for monitoring and once you are asleep they will transmit the information to the equipment which is recording your sleep patterns. The process can take from 7 to 12 hours. If there is a problem during the study, normally a second study will be set up for the patient so that the problem can be studied a little more thoroughly.

If the attending physician determines that you do indeed have sleep apnea in the early part of the study, you may have a half night of sleep and then you will be awakened. The physician will fit you with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Then the technician will monitor you and see if this method is effective. This can be a two night process in most cases or it could take longer.

A sleep study will help to diagnose and determine the best sleep apnea treatments for you. All this is available by spending a night or two in a sleep lab where you can get the results you need.

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2 Responses to “Using Sleep Labs For Diagnosing Sleep Apnea”

  1. Sleep Apnea Causes | Sleep Apnea Made Simple Says:

    [...] Apnea Made Simple Explaining Sleep Apnea In Simple Terms « Using Sleep Labs For Diagnosing Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea Quiz [...]

  2. Sleep Apnea Quiz | Sleep Apnea Made Simple Says:

    [...] check and it may just prolong your life if you find out you do have this disorder.  Left untreated sleep apnea causes serious health [...]

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