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What is a Sleep Study

Sleep studies are tests that measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is.

Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can raise the risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • In addition to other medical conditions.

Sleep disorders are known to increase the risk of personal injury. Such as falling with the elderly and car accidents.

People are usually not aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. Family members may or may not tell you about breathing patterns and movements during sleep. People usually never think to talk to their doctors about issues that might be related to sleep problems.

What to Expect at the Sleep Study

Sleep studies are painless. The polysomnogram (PSG), and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), are done at a sleep centre. The sleep study room may look like a hotel room. A technician makes the room comfortable for you and monitors your sleep. After you arrive at the sleep center (usually in the evening), a technician will apply small sensors to your head and body with adhesive. The wires connecting the sensors to a computer are usually gathered over your head with plenty of slack so you can move around during sleep. Elastic belts also may be wrapped around your chest and abdomen to measure breathing. And a clip may be placed on your finger or earlobe to monitor oxygen levels in your bloodstream. Most people get used to it all very quickly.

Are these studies cover by MSP?

All the visits to our sleep physicians for consultation are covered by BC Medical Services Plan. Other Provincial Medical Services Plans also cover the costs for out of province patients. The cost of your overnight sleep study is also covered by BC Medical Services Plan.