Avera St. Luke's Sleep Lab helps people find out why they struggle to sleep. By spending a night in one of our four sleep labs, 16 different body functions can be monitored by Avera St. Luke’s Registered Polysomnographic Technologists. A polysomnogram records a patient’s physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness and provides data essential in evaluating sleep and sleep-related complaints.
After a pulmonologist interprets results, the patient, physician and health care professionals can work toward a solution. The problem might be snoring, insomnia, or the most frequent, sleep apnea.
If it’s diagnosed as sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a common treatment, where a device sends a steady stream of air blowing gently into the back of the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. Awareness of the benefits that CPAP may have on your health is growing.
Comfortable Rooms and Convenient Schedule
Every effort has been made to make your night as comfortable as possible, from the room to your schedule.
Our Sleep Lab rooms feature:
- Comfortable beds and bedding
- Soft lighting
- Private bathrooms with a shower
- Flat-screen televisions
- Comfortable, home-like accents
- Even a Welcome Kit!
Works easily with your schedule:
- Sleep according to your usual sleep patterns, waking at 6 or 6:30 a.m. (or earlier, if needed)
- Get ready for the day the way you’re used to, including showering at home or at the hospital
Avera St. Luke’s Sleep Lab Services
Our Sleep Lab offers:
- Four individual sleep labs
- The best in sleep lab technology, monitoring 16 different body functions
- Specialists nationally accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
- A pulmonologist to interpret your results and answer your questions
- Comfort and convenience unsurpassed in the region
- Sleep studies offered five days/nights a week
- Located in Avera St. Luke’s Hospital on Third Floor North
We offer thorough sleep evaluations and other services including:
- Nighttime sleep disorder testing
- Daytime sleep disorder testing
- Adult sleep screening
- Pediatric sleep screening
Avera St. Luke’s Sleep Lab Team
Sleep technologists meet with patients to help them understand what to expect during a sleep study. Sleep center staff are available to answer patients' questions.
Our Sleep Lab team includes specialists and support staff from many fields including:
Sleep Disorder Resources
The Sleep Lab offers patient education, helping them to understand what to expect during a sleep study. Physicians and staff working in Avera St. Luke’s Sleep Lab are trained and registered in sleep medicine.
Patient Referral Information
Any physician can refer patients for a sleep study. Ask your doctor about a referral to Avera St. Luke’s Sleep Lab.
For information, call 605-622-5357.
For appointments (physician's order required), call Avera St. Luke’s Centralized Scheduling at 605-622-5556.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need a referral to have a sleep study?
Yes, you will need a face to face visit with your primary physician or one of our sleep physicians to get the referral.
- Will this be covered by my insurance?
In most cases, yes, although you may be responsible for a co-pay. Questions about coverage of your particular policy should be directed to the Customer Service number on the back of your Insurance Card.
- What do I need to bring with me?
Any normal bedtime medications and comfortable sleeping attire.
- Do I need to take my medications?
Unless instructed differently by your physician, please take all normal medications, in the normal dosage, at the normal times as you do every day. Please bring any medications you would take at bedtime.
- Can I bring my pillow?
You may bring your pillow or favorite blanket, if you wish. Please don't forget to take it with you the next morning.
- What do I wear?
Comfortable sleeping attire is recommended. T-shirts and gym shorts are what most patients wear for the study.
- May I bring my pet or spouse?
Neither pets nor spouses are allowed at the sleep lab. We need to get an accurate picture of YOUR uninterrupted sleep. Your spouse may stay during the hookup procedure but must leave when we put you to bed.
- How long will this take?
You will need to arrive at the Sleep Lab at 7:45 p.m. You will leave around 6:30 a.m. the following morning.
- Are there any needles?
There are no needles involved. A sleep study is non-invasive.
- How closely are you going to watch me?
You will have several leads attached to you. This is the most valuable way we 'watch' you sleep. There is also an infrared camera in the patient room so we may monitor your position, movements and need for assistance.
- Does it hurt?
The study itself does not hurt. Occasionally a patient will have slight irritation the following day in sites where leads were placed.
- Will you give me medications to sleep?
The technicians at the Sleep Lab are not licensed to dispense medications. If your ordering physician has prescribed a specific medication for your sleep study, please fill the prescription prior to arriving at the Sleep Lab and you will self-administer your medication prior to the study.
- What if I can't go to sleep?
Many patients believe they will not be able to fall asleep; if you feel you fall into this category, please discuss it with your ordering physician. He may prescribe a mild sleep aid, which will not affect your study, but will help you to fall asleep.
- May I drink or eat?
If you normally have a snack before bedtime, please bring it with you, remembering to avoid caffeinated products.
- Are there TV's in the rooms?
Patient rooms are equipped with televisions and cable. TV's must be turned off by 10:30 p.m.
- Are showers available?
Yes, we have individual showers in each sleep room.
- Will there be someone there with me?
A sleep tech will be in the Lab all night, monitoring patients for the entire night.
- How soon will I know if I have sleep apnea?
Ordering physicians receive a 'scored' copy of your sleep report within 1 week. They interpret the results.
- If I need a CPAP machine, does the Sleep Lab provide one?
No. Your physician will order your CPAP machine. The machine is delivered by a Durable Medical Equipment Company, which is not associated with our sleep lab.
- Does insurance cover the cost of a CPAP machine?
Yes, however insurance coverage varies greatly according to individual policies. It is best to contact your insurance company for details.
Common Sleep Disorders
Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)
Sleep apnea (sleep-disordered breathing) is a serious and common sleep disorder affecting about 12 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its name comes from a Greek word, apnea, meaning "without breath." People with sleep apnea stop breathing briefly many times during the night. The breathing pauses last 10 seconds or more, and there may be 20 to 30 or more pauses per hour. The main symptoms of sleep apnea are persistent loud snoring at night and daytime sleepiness. Another symptom of sleep apnea is frequent long pauses in breathing during sleep, followed by choking and gasping for breath. People with sleep apnea don't get enough restful sleep, and their daytime performance is often seriously affected. Sleep apnea may also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. OSAS, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, can be diagnosed and treated.
It is not unusual to have trouble sleeping from time to time. However, if you feel you do not get enough sleep or satisfying sleep, you may have insomnia. People with insomnia have one or more of the following:
- difficulty falling asleep;
- waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep;
- waking up too early in the morning;
- unrefreshing sleep.
Insomnia can cause problems during the day, such as sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. A person with insomnia may also have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours you sleep every night. The amount of sleep a person needs varies. While most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night, some people do well with less, and some need more. About 60 million Americans each year suffer from insomnia, which can lead to serious sleep deficits and health problems. Insomnia tends to increase with age and affects about 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder with no known cause. It affects the body's central nervous system, which is made up of nerves that carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body. When a person has narcolepsy, messages about when to sleep and when to be awake can get mixed up. This can cause a person to fall asleep when they do not want to, and often without any warning like feeling drowsy. The desire to sleep can be overwhelming and hard to resist, and can happen to a person several times during the day. Night sleep may also be poor, broken up by waking up often during the night. If not controlled with medication, narcolepsy can cause serious problems in personal, social, and work life. It can also limit activities, such as driving a car, work, and exercising. Studies indicate narcolepsy may run in families.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder in which a person has unpleasant feelings or sensations in the legs. These feelings are described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, or painful. While these sensations happen most often in the calf or lower leg area, they can be felt anywhere from the ankle to the upper thigh. RLS symptoms can occur in one or both legs and can also be felt in the arms. These symptoms occur most often when lying down, but can also occur when sitting for long periods of time, such as at a desk, riding in a car, or watching a movie. People with RLS talk about having an irresistible urge to move the legs. Moving the legs, walking, rubbing or massaging the legs, or doing knee bends can bring relief, at least for a short time. Unlike other conditions, RLS symptoms get worse when relaxing or lessening activity, particularly during the evening and nighttime sleeping hours. Many people with RLS have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. If not treated, RLS can cause extreme daytime fatigue. A job, personal life and daily activities can be strongly affected due to exhaustion. A person can lose their ability to focus and may have memory loss.
Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)
The specific therapy for sleep apnea is based on your medical history, physical exam, and the results of polysomnography or other tests. A polysomnography, commonly called a sleep study, is an overnight test that measures how the activity of the body changes during sleep.
Possible treatments for sleep apnea include:
- Behavioral changes such as weight loss, learning to sleep on one's side instead of the back, and avoiding alcohol, sleeping pills, and smoking. In milder cases of sleep apnea, behavioral changes may be enough to stop the sleep apnea.
- Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, is generally required for successful treatment of sleep apnea. In CPAP therapy, a mask is worn over the nose while sleeping, and a machine supplies pressurized room air to the mask through a flexible tube. The pressurized air keeps the airway open. There are various types of CPAP machines that are used in the treatment of sleep apnea.
- An oral or dental device that holds the tongue or jaw forward.
- Surgery. Some procedures include removal of adenoids and tonsils, especially in children; removal of nasal polyps or other growths; and correction of structural deformities.
Medications are generally not effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. However, if nasal congestion is contributing to breathing problems, decongestants may help in the treatment of sleep apnea.
Acute, or short-term insomnia may not require treatment. But if your insomnia makes it hard to function during the day because you are sleepy and tired, your health care provider may prescribe sleeping pills for a limited time. The rapid onset, short-acting medications now available avoid many of the earlier problems with continuing effects (like feeling drowsy or groggy) the following day. Some medications may be less effective after several weeks of nightly use, however, and long-term safety and effectiveness has not yet been established. Side effects of sleeping pills (and over-the-counter sleep medicines) can be a problem, too. Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits.
Treatment for chronic (long-term) insomnia includes first treating any underlying conditions or health problems which are causing the insomnia. If insomnia continues, your health care provider may suggest behavioral therapy or medication. Most medicines used for sleep have side effects and must be used with caution. It is not recommended to use over-the-counter sleeping pills for insomnia. Behavioral approaches to treatment focus on changing behaviors that may worsen insomnia and learning new behaviors to promote sleep.
There is no cure for narcolepsy. It is a life-long condition, but there is help for a person with this condition to have a good and productive life. Symptoms can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes. The extreme daytime sleepiness can be treated with stimulant drugs (or drugs that keep you awake). Caffeine and over-the-counter stimulants do not work to reduce daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy who have other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, should talk with their doctor about other medicines they are taking. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs may interact with those drugs taken for narcolepsy. Changes in lifestyle can help to treat and control narcolepsy. Taking daytime naps and developing good sleep habits are important. Taking short naps (10 to 15 minutes) 2 to 3 times a day can help control extreme daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks. Having good sleep habits helps a person to get good quality nighttime sleep. If you have narcolepsy, it is important to talk on a regular basis with your health care provider. This will help you to get the best treatment possible for your symptoms.
Restless Leg Syndrome
There is no cure for RLS. Sometimes RLS can be controlled by diagnosing and treating an underlying condition, such as peripheral neuropathy or diabetes. Treating the underlying disease can relieve many of the symptoms of RLS. For people who have RLS with no diagnosed cause, treatment is focused on symptom relief. For those with mild to moderate symptoms, lifestyle changes are often suggested including:
- reducing or stopping use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco products;
- taking supplements to increase iron, folate, and magnesium in the body;
- developing and keeping a regular sleep schedule;
- getting moderate exercise;
- taking hot or cold baths, rubbing or massaging the legs or other affected body parts, or using a heating pad or ice pack.
Health care providers may also prescribe medicine for symptom relief.