If you are a patient who wants to be seen at one of our MedSleep clinics, you need to talk to your doctor about initiating the referral process.
You can print our referral form and take this to your family doctor who needs to fill it out and fax it to us. Alternatively, you can call us and we can e-mail or fax you a referral form.
Once we receive the referral form, our staff will contact you directly to book an appointment. Your doctor will determine whether or not you require a consultation or sleep study or perhaps both.
There is no special preparation needed. For example, you should eat your usual evening meal before coming for the test. Be sure you have the phone number of the sleep lab so you can call us if you have any questions. It is important to maintain your typical sleep schedule in the preceding 7 days (i.e. sleeping in late on the day of the study will interfere with the results). You should also continue to take your regular medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Unfortunately sleep testing is not covered by all health plans. In Ontario level 1 sleep studies are covered however this testing is currently not covered at our clinics in Edmonton, Calgary or Halifax (please call the local clinic for more information on pricing).
Some insurance providers cover sleep testing. Please check with your provider.
A Level 1 Sleep Study (polysomnography)
A Level 1 Overnight Sleep Study (Level 1) or diagnostic polysomnography is considered the gold standard in sleep testing. The overnight polysomnogram (PSG) is used to help determine the cause of excessive daytime sleepiness and to diagnose some sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and periodic limb movements during sleep. This sleep test involves spending a night in a private bedroom in our sleep laboratory. A sleep technologist will monitor brain waves (EEG), heart rhythm (EKG), breathing patterns, oxygen levels and limb movements. It is the most complete state of the art method to diagnose sleep disorders.
What happens during a Level 1 sleep study?
It will take the technologist about an hour to prepare you for the procedure. This is a simple process of attaching electrodes using a removable cream/gel and tape. The electrodes do not pierce the skin. In the morning you will be able to leave from a night study in time for your usual daily activities (approximately by 6-7 am).
You can read until you are ready to go to bed. At that time, the technologist will connect you to recording equipment. There is a control area, separate from each bedroom where the technologist monitors the procedure. The technologist will do all she or he can to make your stay a pleasant one. Do not be afraid to ask questions. The technologist will have two or three patients to look after per night. You will have private rooms with a bathroom close by. If you have to use the washroom during the night, just call for the technologist who will disconnect you from the recording equipment. Cameras may be used to observe you sleep.
During a full sleep study, the staff will monitor your brain wave activity, leg muscle activity, chin muscle tone, eye muscle movement, heart function, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen saturation.
All monitoring is done by attaching small metal discs called electrodes onto the surface of your skin.
A Level 3 Sleep Study (in-home portable sleep monitoring)
A Level 3 Sleep Test is a portable sleep test performed in the patient’s home. This test is used to screen moderate uncomplicated sleep apnea but is not able to diagnose other sleep disorders. The sleep test equipment is picked up by the patient in the laboratory where instructions are provided for its use. It is then returned in the morning where the study data is uploaded for analysis. It is not as accurate as the above test.