• 530.541.3420 | 2170 South Avenue, S. Lake Tahoe, CA

Sleep Studies

Barton’s newly expanded Sleep Studies program offers a specialty service established for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. We provide professional evaluation and comprehensive sleep monitoring services for a complete range of sleep and wakefulness problems, including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)
  • Parasomnia
  • Sleep schedule disorders
  • Difficulty initiating/maintaining sleep

What is it?

Polysomnography, commonly referred to as a sleep study, is a test designed to diagnose, or rule out many types of sleep disorders. Your doctor may order this test if you complain of being excessively tired during the day or have consistent waking and interruptions during the night. They may suspect you have: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, REM sleep behavior disorder, unexplained insomnia, or other unusual/unexplained behaviors during sleep.

The Polysomnography records a person’s bio physiological changes that occur during sleep. Because our brain waves, eye movements and heart rhythms change while we sleep, the test is performed at night while you are asleep in a designated sleep lab. Your brain waves are monitored through electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. Your cycles of sleep are also monitored, recording REMs (rapid eye movement) and NREMs (non-rapid eye movement). By monitoring these phases and cycles of sleep, the test can show where disturbances exist.

What can I expect?

For our test, you will come to the sleep lab in the evening, and become familiar with the setting. Next, our sleep technologist places sensors on your head, temples, chest and legs using a mild glue adhesive. A pulse oximeter is placed on your finger to monitor the level of oxygen in your blood. These sensors are connected by wires to a computer, which records your physiological changes throughout the night. Our sleep lab is inside the hospital and our sleep technician is always in attendance and is responsible for monitoring the patient during each study.

What happens next?

While you sleep, our sleep technologist monitors physiological changes in brain waves, eye movements, blood oxygen level, breathing patterns and heart rate. Additionally they observe your changes in body position, arm and leg movements, snoring and other disruptions as you sleep. All of these measurements are recorded on a continuous graph. If you need assistance, you can ask the technologist for assistance during the night. The wires are long enough to let you move normally in bed, however you may not fall asleep as easily or sleep as well while getting your test as you do at home. This usually doesn't affect the outcome for the test, as a full night's sleep is not required in order to receive accurate results. Once the test is completed, you will be discharged home by 7 a.m. unless a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) is to be done during the day to test for excessive daytime sleepiness.

Other information

While the studies are preferably conducted on patients over the age of 10, if a child’s pediatrician recommends a sleep study, we can accommodate younger children as well. Additionally, there are very few risks to a polysomnography. Because it is a noninvasive and painless test, complications are extremely unusual. The most common side effect is skin irritation caused by the adhesive where the sensors were attached to your skin.

Hours & Contact Info

Hours of operation are from 6:00pm to 7:00am Sunday night through Friday night. If you are concerned with your sleeping patterns, speak to your primary care physician about the possibility of a sleep study for you. For more information call our medical imaging department at (530) 543-5850.