Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should I visit a sleep specialist?

  • Are sleep studies covered by insurance?

  • Do you need a referral?

  • What are some of the consequences of sleep disorders if left untreated?

  • Do I have to have an office visit before my sleep study?

  • What does a sleep study entail?

  • What if I can’t fall asleep?

Q: When should I visit a sleep specialist?

A: It’s time to see a doctor specially trained in sleep disorders when you have had trouble sleeping for more than a month or if you are tired during the day for unknown reasons. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it is important to have the cause evaluated in a sleep lab. You and your primary care physician should not assume that you have “insomnia”.

Recent studies show that a high percentage (30-50%) of people diagnosed with insomnia actually have another sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. Also, it is very important to have your nocturnal breathing pattern evaluated before starting sleeping agents, because they may depress your respiratory drive.

  • What if I have to go to the bathroom?

  • What if I don’t usually sleep at night because I work second or third shift, or I habitually go to bed very late or very early?

  • How long do I have to be at the sleep lab?

  • What should I bring?

  • Can I watch TV?

  • Does Comprehensive Sleep Care Center accept pediatric patients?

  • What if a spouse or caregiver wants to accompany an adult patient?

Q: Are sleep studies covered by insurance?

A: Yes. Medicare and most private health insurance companies cover office visits, sleep studies and CPAP services. We accept most major insurance plans except for Health Net.

Q: Do you need a referral?

A: If you have Medicare or a PPO: No. HMO’s usually require one. Generally you can call your doctor and ask him/her to fax us a referral. We would be happy to assist you by faxing our referral form to your doctor.

Q: What are some of the consequences of sleep disorders if left untreated?

A: Some of the risks include:

Risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke
Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
Cognitive impairment and poor job performance
Anxiety, depression, memory loss and dementia, hypertension, cardiac disease, stroke, and traffic accidents.

Q: What does a sleep study entail?

A: A sleep study is a non-invasive, painless evaluation of your sleep. Electrodes attach with paste and they monitor your brain waves, rapid eye movements, breathing patterns, respiratory efforts, oxygen levels, snoring, muscle tone and leg movements, electrocardiogram and heart rate. You are able to move from side to side.

Q: Do I have to have an office visit before my sleep study?

A: Usually that is the best way. Dr. Patel will perform an extensive review of your medical history with a special focus on sleep and he will perform a physical exam aimed at uncovering common causes of sleep disruption. He will evaluate you for one of the more than 80 sleep disorders that are currently known.

Some sleep disorders may be treated without requiring a sleep study, while others require a sleep study to determine which disorder you may have and its severity. This visit not only insures that we are providing you with the best possible service, but it is also preferred by the sleep center to meet the high standards of accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

A physician may refer a patient directly for a sleep study if it is for suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the patient is in very good health.

Q: What if I can’t fall asleep?

A: “There’s no way I can fall asleep with all that stuff on me!” The good news is that almost everyone does, it just may take you a little longer than normal. If this is a concern, please voice this to our physician during your appointment.

Q: How long do I have to be at the sleep lab?

A: Patients are requested to arrive between 7:30 and 8:15 pm and generally will be able to leave between 6:00 am and 8:00 am unless of course you are an early riser. Patients are usually with us about 9 hours. We aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep study time.

Q: What should I bring?

A: Pack as if you were going to a hotel. We do have showers in the bathrooms and will provide towels.  Please do bring your toiletries if you will need them.

Q: What if a spouse or caregiver wants to accompany an adult patient?

A: If a patient needs 24-hour care, we ask that the caregiver stay with the patient in our rooms in a cot that we will provide. If a spouse wishes to accompany the patient so as not to stay home alone, arrangements can be made.

Q: What if I have to go to the bathroom?

A: No problem. The electrodes are collected together to a central attachment that easily detaches to free you to get up and out of bed. Bathroom and shower facilities are available for all patients.

Q: What if I don’t usually sleep at night because I work second or third shift, or I habitually go to bed very late or very early?

A: No fears. We are able to accommodate any sleep pattern.

Q: Can I watch TV?

A: Yes. Each room has Direct TV. There is also wireless internet if you wish to bring your laptop. You are free to use any of these electronic media as you try to acclimate yourself to this new environment. Of course, we ask that you choose a relaxing activity.

Q: Does The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona accept pediatric patients?

A: Yes, ages 2 and older. A sleep consultation is required prior to a sleep study unless it is a simple case of ruling out Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A parent or guardian must accompany the child and remain for the entirety of the study. We have rooms specially fitted with recliners so that the caregiver can sleep with the child. See use The Institute New Patient Packet for the pediatric sleep medicine patient registration form.

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