Frequently Asked Questions about Sleep Disorders - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers – from A to Zzzzzzzz….

Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center

Getting help for a sleep disorder can make a big difference in your life. No matter what kind of concern you have, we have the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Questions about sleep problems

What is a sleep disorder?

A sleep disorder disrupts and disturbs your overall quality of life. It can affect a child, teen, adult, parent or senior citizen.

How do I know if I have a sleep disorder?

You might have a sleep disorder if:

  • Your snoring disturbs your bed partner
  • You have trouble falling asleep at night more than three times a week.
  • You wake up often during the night.
  • You feel tired throughout the day.
  • You find yourself falling asleep while driving, at work or in class.
  • You have an itchy, crawly feeling in your legs.
  • You wake up with a headache or a dry/sore throat.

What are the most common sleep disorders?

  • Sleep apnea, in which breathing stops or gets very shallow during sleep. Each pause typically lasts 10-20 seconds or more, and can occur 20 to 30 times an hour.
  • Insomnia, which includes difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early and/or poor quality of sleep.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), characterized by a strong, often uncontrollable urge to move your legs immediately before sleep, or other odd feelings like burning, prickling, itching or tingling.
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), in which patients have repetitive, uncontrollable and often imperceptive muscle spasms during non-REM sleep.
  • Narcolepsy, sometimes called “sleep attacks,” means falling asleep at unusual times and in awkward places.
  • Parasomnias, a category of undesirable physical or verbal behaviors during sleep, such as sleepwalking, bed-wetting, teeth grinding, frequent nightmares, night terrors, nocturnal seizures or sleep paralysis.

How common are sleep disorders?

Roughly 40 million Americans have a sleep disorder – and most are completely unaware of it. Many who are aware they have a diagnosable sleep disorder seek the help they need.

Are some people more likely than others to develop a sleep disorder?

Yes – some of the common risk factors for sleep disorders include:

  • Age: While sleep problems affect all ages, they’re more common in middle and older-age adults. Children have different sleep patterns, resulting in unique pediatric sleep problems.
  • Gender:  Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia; men are more likely to have sleep apnea.
  • Weight: The more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop a sleep disorder.
  • Anatomy: Some people have structural abnormalities in the sinuses, mouth, throat or elsewhere in the upper airway.
  • Drug or alcohol use: Medications, alcohol or illegal drugs can interfere with normal sleep patterns or the ability to awaken from sleep.
  • Other medical problems: People who suffer from high blood pressure or depression are also at higher risk.

Is there anything I can do to sleep better on my own?

Sure – doctors call it “sleep hygiene.” Just like dental hygiene, developing the right habits can have a big impact on your health.

Nighttime rituals might seem like a too-easy solution, but the following guidelines have been proven to be critical in establishing healthy sleep patterns:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Always sleep in a bed in a dark, quiet room – avoid the temptation to sleep in a recliner or on the couch.
  • Give yourself time to unwind from daily activities to help clear your mind.
  • Follow the same “getting ready for bed” routine every night.
  • Get regular daily exercise.
  • Don’t eat within four hours of going to bed.
  • Avoid all caffeine six hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco two hours before bedtime.

Learn more about sleep disorders

Questions about sleep studies

What is a sleep study?

The most common type of sleep study is a polysomnogram. During this all-night test is a recording of various body functions, including: brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, muscle tone, blood oxygen, airflow and breathing effort.

How are all the measurements taken?

A qualified sleep technologist will record your body functions by placing electrodes or monitors on your head, scalp, chest, legs and abdomen, as well as a sensor placed near your nose and mouth.

What happens during a sleep test?

After you arrive at the sleep center and get settled in your room, a sleep technician will place the electrodes and sensors on your head and body.

While you sleep, the technician will remotely monitor your room and make sure the sensors are recording your bodily functions correctly.

You can bring your own sleep attire and other personal items, and you can shower or freshen up in the morning before you leave.

How long does a sleep study last?

The study lasts approximately seven hours, but may vary depending on your sleeping pattern.

Will I have to sleep on a narrow hospital bed or in a room with others?

No! Our sleep centers offer a comfortable, hotel-like environment with private rooms and bathrooms.

Will the electrodes and wires be uncomfortable?

The electrodes are painless – most patients find they don’t even notice them after a few minutes. Your technician can easily unhook the sensors if you need to get up to use the restroom.

Will I be videotaped?

A digital image of you sleeping will be part of your sleep study. There are no physical videotapes or outputted images.

What if I can't fall asleep?

Even if you don't feel as if you are falling asleep, you will likely do so at some point. We rarely have patients who do not sleep enough that we can't find diagnostic information concerning their sleep patterns.

How long will it take to get my test results?

Follow-up appointments with your physician are usually scheduled about two weeks after your sleep study.

Are there other kinds of sleep studies?

  • If you qualify, your doctor might recommend a home sleep study using a portable monitoring system to determine if you have sleep apnea.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your physician may recommend a test for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.
  • If you’re having excessive daytime sleepiness, a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) can help diagnose narcolepsy.
  • A maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) is used to measure how alert you are during the day. It shows whether or not you are able to stay awake for a defined period of time.
  • Pediatric sleep studies are available for children who suffer from sleep apnea, sleep walking, night terrors or other childhood sleep problems.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

How will my sleep study be billed?

Sleep studies at Crozer-Keystone Sleep Centers are billed as outpatient services. You’ll receive two invoices:

  • Crozer-Keystone will bill for the technical part of the study (data collection).
  • Your physician will bill for the interpretation of the study.

Your co-payment will be collected when you arrive the night of the study – contact your insurance company to determine the correct co-payment amount.

Questions about the Crozer-Keystone Sleep Centers

Why should I choose Crozer-Keystone’s sleep disorders program?

How do I make an appointment?

Just complete and submit our easy online request form, or call 1-888-SLEEP-03 (1-888-753-3703) – our sleep center technicians are available 24 hours a day.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

In most cases, a sleep study is recommended by a primary care physician or sleep medicine specialist.

If you think you might need a sleep study, a referral counselor at the Crozer-Keystone Sleep Centers can point you in the right direction – just give us a call at 1-888-SLEEP-03 (1-888-753-3703).

Where are you located?

You’ll find a Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center in four convenient locations in the Delaware Valley:

  • Upland: Crozer-Keystone Pediatric Sleep Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center
  • Drexel Hill: Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center at Delaware County Memorial Hospital
  • Ridley Park: Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center at Taylor Hospital
  • Glen Mills: Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center at Brinton Lake

How successful are your treatment programs?

Since opening our first sleep center in 1978, we’ve helped several thousand Pennsylvanians put their sleep disorders to rest.

Are you ready to put your sleep problems to rest?

If you think you may have a sleep disorder, call the Crozer-Keystone Sleep Centers at 1-888-SLEEP-03 (1-888-753-3703) or use our easy online request form – our sleep technicians are available 24 hours a day.