Berlin, Md. – The Sleep Disorders Diagnostic Center at Atlantic General Hospital now
offers sleep studies that can be conducted in the comfort of a patient’s home.
During a traditional sleep study, an overnight stay in a hospital or sleep
center is required. Upon arrival, a sleep technician attaches sensors
to the torso and head that monitor brain waves, heartbeat, and breathing.
The results captured over the next eight hours of sleep help physicians
determine if a patient has sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and a variety
of other sleep disorders. The testing can be very revealing, but isn’t
always the most convenient or comfortable experience for patients trying
to sleep normally in an unfamiliar environment.
With a home sleep study patients are in their own surroundings and can
follow their usual routines, which will result in falling asleep faster
and yield truer results. Unusual sleep hours can be accommodated as well.
For those who work night shift or have a lifestyle that results in an
unusual bedtime, it can be difficult to fall asleep for a typical 11 p.m.
The tech can even pre-program the machine to turn on and off at a certain
time if the patient has a usual bedtime.
Convenience is just one of the benefits of a home sleep study. If a patient
has an unusually restless night that may yield inconclusive results, there
is an opportunity to monitor a second night’s sleep. The goal is
the make the experience as simple and easy as possible for the patient.
“We provide education before testing to make sure our patients know
how to set up the equipment. A sleep tech actually sits down with the
patients when they come in to pick it up,” says Maria Phillips,
Director of Imaging. Other providers of home sleep studies send the equipment
through the mail with a set of instructions.
There are four basic components to the setup, which takes about 10 minutes
at home: a belt around the waist, a belt around the chest, a pulse and
oxygen reader that clips to the finger, and a sensor that is placed beneath the nose.
The studies are covered by most insurance companies and Medicare. Diagnosis
is the same as a traditional sleep study. The results are read by a pulmonologists
certified in sleep medicine and shared with a patient’s doctor.
If you or a loved one thinks they may have sleep apnea, please to talk
to your doctor about having a sleep study. For more information, please visit
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the
residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) counties
since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated
community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md.,
combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology
and services. It provides quality specialty care such as weight loss surgery,
orthopedics, outpatient infusion for individuals with cancer or blood/autoimmune
disorders, retina surgery and a comprehensive women’s diagnostic
center. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary
care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout
the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit