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Sleep Lab & Studies

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Call the Sleep Lab at 210-358-8587 for more information or to refer a patient.

Sleep Lab & Studies

We’re committed to providing the best available testing to improve your happiness and overall wellness. When you are having trouble sleeping, schedule a sleep test with us. We provide sleep testing for people of all ages and abilities.

Comfort and Support for Accurate Results

With University Health, you can get hospital-grade monitoring technology in the comfort of a private hotel room. We are committed to providing you with the most comfortable environment for optimal results. We also offer daytime sleep studies if you work at night, plus weekend studies.

Our Sleep Lab services are available at the La Quinta Inn & Suites San Antonio Medical Center and Courtyard Marriott San Antonio Downtown Market Square.

We also offer Sleep Lab services at University Hospital for high-risk adult and pediatric patients with full support from nurses and doctors.

Tests That Study Each Stage of Sleep

During your stay at the Sleep Lab, our specialists will use technology to monitor you while you sleep. We will also video record you sleeping so the doctor can better diagnose what may be disrupting your sleep.

We will perform sleep tests including:

  • Polysomnogram (PSG), which records:
    • Air flow in and out of the lungs
    • Oxygen levels in the blood
    • Body position
    • Brain waves
    • Heart rate
    • Eye movement
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). This measures how quickly you fall asleep in quiet situations throughout the day. MSLT can help diagnose narcolepsy and daytime sleepiness.
  • Chin and leg electromyogram (EMG). Your doctor will attach electrodes to your legs and chin to measure nerve activity during sleep. Increased muscle activity during sleep may indicate a sleep disorder.

Extra Tests to Diagnose Sleep Disorders

Before ordering a sleep study, your doctor may run some tests to rule out other factors for your sleep disorder. These tests do not require you to spend the night at the hospital or hotel.

These tests include:

  • Hemoglobin test. This tests your blood for anemia, which can cause daytime sleepiness and restless leg syndrome.
  • Arterial blood gas test. Your doctor will draw blood from your wrist and test oxygen levels in your blood. This will show if you have shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Thyroid function test. This checks your blood for thyroid hormones. If your thyroid is not producing enough hormones, this can cause insomnia and fatigue.
  • Drug and alcohol screening. Drugs and alcohol can affect the quality of sleep you get. Your doctor can check your drug and alcohol use to determine if that is a factor. This is either a blood or urine test.
  • Epworth sleepiness score. This questionnaire scores how likely you are to fall asleep during the day.
  • Beck depression index. This questionnaire asks questions about feelings of sadness, self-criticism, guilt and more to find signs of depression. Depression and some medicines that treat it can cause insomnia and fatigue.

Should I Do a Sleep Test?

A sleep test is the most effective way to diagnose a sleep disorder. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, your doctor may recommend a sleep test:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty focusing on work or school
  • Excessive daytime napping
  • Excessive snoring
  • Leg discomfort
  • Sleep walking
  • Sleep talking
  • Unable to fall asleep
  • Unable to stay asleep
  • Waking up gasping for breath

What Happens During a Sleep Study?

  • You will arrive at the hospital or hotel for your study at night, just before your usual bedtime. This is so that you can mimic some of your bedtime routine and fall asleep faster.
  • Your doctor will ask you to change into your pajamas or a hospital gown and remove jewelry that might get in the way. Then, your doctor will attach small metal discs called electrodes to your body to track heart rate, brain waves, etc.
  • Your team will attach a small clip to your finger to measure your breathing while you sleep.
  • Your team will turn out the lights, leave your room, and begin monitoring you.
  • You will not be able to take sedatives before going to sleep.
  • The next morning, your team will remove the electrodes and you will be able to shower and leave.

How to Prepare For a Sleep Test

While you don’t need to prepare anything for the test, there are a few things you can do to make your experience better.

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Avoiding caffeine for a few days before the test
  • Limit naps before the test
  • Shower before going to the sleep lab
  • Don’t apply lotion before the test because the electrodes won’t stick
  • Bring your own pajamas and pillow

Your doctor may also ask you and your partner to keep a diary of your sleeping habits.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Knowledge is power. We want you to feel empowered and take charge of your health. Before agreeing to a sleep study, here are some questions to ask your doctor:

  • What tests will you run while I’m asleep?
  • What results should I expect and what will they mean?
  • Are there any possible complications from participating in a sleep study?
  • What are my other options?
  • What are the risks and benefits of participating?
  • Who is performing the test and what are their qualifications?
  • How much will I have to pay?
  • Who do I call to get the results?
  • What are the next steps after the test?

Doctor Referrals

To refer a patient, please call us at 210-358-8587.