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The evaluation or diagnostic process begins with a referral from a patient's physician, or a patient may schedule the initial evaluation without a physician referral. Many times before a diagnostic procedure called a sleep study appointment is scheduled, the patient completes a questionnaire detailing his or her symptoms and medical history.
A sleep diary may be kept for one to two weeks to obtain a view of his or her sleep habits.
If an overnight sleep study is recommended, the patient sleeps in a comfortable private bedroom. After arriving at the center, small sensors are placed on the surface of the skin of the head, trunk and legs to measure the following functions.
None of these devices penetrate the skin, and no blood is drawn.
Throughout the night, trained polysomnographers monitor the activity of these sensors to help provide an accurate sleep recording. Closed-circuit television and sound recordings allow the patient to be seen and heard throughout the night. Some patients worry about the need to get up during the night. If this is necessary, the technicians are available to assist the patient.
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