The BU Medical Group Sleep Center provides the following services in consultation with your referring physician:
- Diagnostic sleep testing (sleep study)
- Physician consultation and evaluation
- Insomnia management
- Sleep apnea management
- Home sleep testing
An overnight sleep study is a test which allows your physician to look for a variety of common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. The sleep study begins with a brief questionnaire which allow the physician reviewing the study to understand the patient’s normal sleep habits and factors that may affect their sleep such as medications, usual bed time and sleeping position. A series of non-invasive monitoring devices are placed on the patient by a specially trained sleep technologist and allow for the recording of brain activity, eye movements, breathing patterns, snoring, chest and leg movements and heart rate.
During the sleep study, the technologist is in constant video and audio contact with the patient, providing a safe, supportive environment with minimal anxiety. Our diagnostic suites have been designed to promote a relaxing atmosphere and a pleasant patient experience. We offer full-size beds, private bathrooms with showers and a light breakfast so that patients can undergo a full sleep diagnostic procedure, wake up and start their day with minimal disruption to their schedule and lives.
Our team of specially trained sleep physicians will work with your referring physician to provide you with the best care possible. A visit with a sleep physician is an essential part of a comprehensive evaluation to address a patient’s sleep problems. This personal interaction provides vital information in choosing the best diagnostic and treatment strategies for each individual.
Insomnia or difficulty sleeping is a common sleep complaint. There are many causes of insomnia. Careful investigation of the cause of insomnia is an important part of the treatment strategy. Sometimes insomnia can occur with other illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Stressful life situations can bring on insomnia which may last long after the situation has passed. Other times insomnia is caused by a work schedule which forces you to work against your body’s natural clock. With the many causes of insomnia, it is important to identify the most likely cause and adjust treatment to it.
The treatment of sleep apnea often involves a device called a CPAP (See-pap) machine which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It treats the most common cause of sleep apnea which is a physical blockage of the breathing tube in the neck which brings air into the lungs from the nose and mouth. This blockage results in a lack of air movement called an apnea which leads to disrupted sleep and daytime sleepiness. The CPAP machine provides additional air pressure in the breathing tube which helps to keep it open. Along with CPAP there are other treatments for sleep apnea which may be appropriate for a patient’s treatment.
In some patients a limited type of sleep test that provides less information than a full sleep study may be appropriate and can be conducted at home. This type of sleep test needs to be carefully discussed with a specially trained sleep physician who will evaluate the specific situation and determine whether this type of sleep test will provide adequate and accurate information for a diagnosis.