There are many reasons why you might consider seeing a sleep physician and having a sleep study done. It may be that you are experiencing symptoms that are impacting your every day life, your GP might refer you because you have another illness that could be worsened by a sleep disorder, your job might require you to have your sleep health checked or you might have a family history of sleep disorders.
Common symptoms or co-morbidities that patients experience that lead them to a sleep study include:
- day time tiredness
- mirco sleeping
- poor concentration
- trouble waking up in the morning
- waking during the night
- gasping for air/choking during sleep
- poor mood
- restless legs
- high blood pressure
- teeth grinding
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms the first step is to see your GP and get a referral to see a sleep physician. A consult with a sleep physician prior to having a sleep study is a Medicare requirement. Another specialist such as an ENT or psychiatrist can also refer for a sleep study.
The next step is to make an appointment with your chosen sleep specialist (a list of our doctors can be found further down on this page under Our Sleep Physicians). This appointment will be a 30-45 minute consult where you will be asked questions about your medical history and your sleep history. Afterwards the doctor will either recommend some sleep hygiene techniques to try or will recommend you have a sleep study.
There are several types of sleep studies that you might be referred for depending on your symptoms (see the Types of Sleep Studies section below for details). All sleep studies involve having leads attached to your body and head to record your physiology during sleep. Measurements such as your brain activity, muscle activity, snoring, body position, breathing, oxygen levels and leg movements are recorded. The leads involved in this recording are painless and easily put on and removed by our staff technicians. After your sleep study you will have a follow up consultation with your sleep doctor who will explain all of the results and treatment recommendations.
The benefits of investigating your sleep and treating any sleep related problems are significant and can drastically improve the quality of your life.
A diagnostic sleep study can be done at home or in the lab. This type of study is usually the one you will have if you haven't had a study before.
We perform paediatric sleep studies on babies from 4 weeks old up to adolescents aged 18. Some common reasons for a child to have a sleep study are snoring and trouble falling asleep or maintaining sleep.
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) your sleep physician will likely recommend you start CPAP therapy as it is the gold standard therapy for OSA. This study indicates your ideal pressures for treatment.
If you are experiencing excessive day time sleepiness and don't have OSA, you may be referred for an MSLT study to find out if you have hypersomnolence or narcolepsy.
An MWT is often done to assess a person's vigilance so that they can continue to drive safely or work in an occupation that requires long periods of concentration.
A Mandibular advancement splint is a special mouth guard worn to treat mild OSA. This study is used to assess it's effectiveness.