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Doctor examining patient undergoing a sleep study

Sleep Testing

Do you wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night? Are you restless all night long? Or does it feel like you haven’t slept a wink when the alarm rings?

These signs mean it might be time for sleep testing. While you won’t be graded on your results, these tests shed light on what’s keeping you awake at night. And you’ll want to find healthcare providers who specialize in these tests.

Cleveland Clinic’s sleep experts are here to help. We understand how important a good night’s sleep is. And how frustrating it can be when you don’t sleep well. We work with you to find out why you’re having problems so we can get you back to catching quality ZZZs.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Sleep Testing?

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Trusted experts:

Cleveland Clinic is a leader in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in people of all ages. In the last year alone, we did over 20,000 sleep studies in our labs. So, our team understands the physical, social, mental and safety considerations that come with these disruptions.

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Patient-centered care:

We know it can be stressful to have a sleep disorder. And having to spend the night in one of our sleep labs might be unsettling. That’s why our team makes sure you understand what to expect every step of the way. We’ll be by your side all night, keeping a close eye on what’s going on. Meet our team.

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Comfort and convenience:

When you have a sleep condition, you’ll need special testing. This might include overnight studies in one of our sleep labs, nap testing or at-home tests. We work with you to learn more about how you sleep in a way that meets your needs.

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Innovation and research:

Cleveland Clinic’s sleep experts focus on dedicated research aimed at understanding and diagnosing sleep and wake disorders. Our studies and clinical trials help us find new, better ways to improve sleep.

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Virtual visits:

When you want to go over test results or have a quick check-in with your sleep disorders team, virtual visits are a great alternative to an in-person visit. Talk with your providers online using a smartphone, tablet or computer without leaving home.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

A Few Things To Know About Sleep Testing at Cleveland Clinic

There are more than 80 different sleep disorders, and each has different symptoms. You may have trouble falling asleep. Or you may wake up in the morning feeling sleepy — and stay that way all day. You may even nod off at work or in social situations.

You might punch, yell, kick, scream or curse at night. You might walk or eat in your sleep. Your partner may complain that you snore, gurgle or groan all night. Or you might wake up gasping for breath.

When you have symptoms like these, there’s a good chance you have a sleep disorder. Sleep testing helps pinpoint what’s going on and makes sure you get the best possible treatment. Our providers will ask you about your symptoms and how they’re affecting your life. And they may recommend sleep testing for things like:

Sleep disorder questionnaire

We’ll ask you to track your sleep patterns for about a week before we start any sleep tests. You’ll log information into a special questionnaire that asks about your sleep habits, like:

  • What time did you go to bed?
  • What time did you wake up?
  • Did you have trouble falling asleep?
  • Did you wake up during the night?

Meet Our Sleep Testing Team

Our team of sleep specialists will help pinpoint the causes behind your sleep problems with the latest sleep testing. This team has providers from different practice areas, like:

Locations

Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Having Sleep Testing at Cleveland Clinic

Depending on your symptoms, your provider may recommend either testing done in one of our sleep labs or an at-home test. You may need to stop taking certain medications for at least 14 days before testing begins. Your provider will talk to you about this.

Sleep studies (polysomnogram)

We can best diagnose many sleep disorders with an overnight sleep study (polysomnogram or PSG test). We tailor testing to each person based on individual sleep patterns. If you’re a shift worker at night, we may do the tests when you usually sleep during the day.

You’ll sleep about eight hours in a private sleep room at one of our sleep labs. We’ll put painless electrodes on your head to track your brain and muscle activity and eye movements. We’ll place sensors around your nose, chest and belly (abdomen) and oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors to watch your breathing patterns.

Depending on your health history, we may also increase the number of sensors on your head to record an electroencephalogram (EEG) at the same time as your sleep study. This helps us monitor your brain waves to check for abnormal movements or behaviors while you sleep, like seizures or parasomnias. 

If you have symptoms of a REM sleep disorder, we’ll measure the amount of elevated (abnormal) muscle activity when you’re in REM sleep. If you have sleep apnea, we may start treatment with positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy or study the effect of your oral appliance or nerve stimulator on your sleep apnea.

Multiple sleep latency test

If you have excessive daytime sleepiness or have trouble staying awake during the day, we might do a multiple sleep latency test. This is often something people with narcolepsy have the day after an overnight sleep study. You’ll do this at the sleep lab. Our team gives you five chances to nap during the day at two-hour intervals. We’ll record your brain and chin muscle activity. And we’ll track your eye movements. We also measure how long it takes you to fall asleep with each nap.

Before we test for the excessive need to sleep, your provider will give you a small, watch-like device to wear, called an actigraphy sensor. It tracks your sleep-wake cycle.

Home sleep testing

When your providers suspect your symptoms point to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), they may offer you sleep testing at home. You’ll use a portable sleep monitor to do this. This equipment includes a recording device, sensors and belts. And it runs on AA batteries. It records airflow, breathing effort, blood oxygen levels and snoring while you sleep.

Before you start this at home, you’ll watch an educational video, and your providers will show you how to activate the device. A sleep technologist will be available by phone to help you if needed. We want to be sure you’re comfortable using it on your own. You’ll return the equipment the day after your study. Devices are typically mailed to your home but can be picked up at one of our locations.

[h2] What To Expect After Sleep Testing at Cleveland Clinic

Once your care team has your sleep testing results, they’ll work with you to create a highly personalized treatment plan. They focus on you, your symptoms and your goals to make sure you get the best results — and a better night’s sleep.

If you do have OSA, we may have you use an oral appliance that helps hold your jaw and tongue in a position that keeps pressure off your windpipe. Or we might prescribe positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment to increase air pressure when you inhale. The most popular of these is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. If CPAP therapy isn’t effective, your provider may consider a stimulator that opens your airway when you sleep.

Treatments for other disorders can include:

Taking the Next Step

Everyone has a bad night’s sleep once in a while. But when it happens every night, you can feel anxious, irritable and overtired, or be at risk for serious brain, heart or metabolic problems. The good news is that you don’t have to live with it. Sleep testing can help you find out what’s causing your problems, so you can start personalized treatment right away. Cleveland Clinic was one of the first in the nation to specialize in sleep testing and disorders. And our skilled team is here to help you get back to sleeping soundly.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s sleep testing experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s sleep testing experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


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