What is a sleep lab?
A sleep laboratory is set
up to investigate and treat sleep disorders. Sleep labs require a referral form from a physician for a sleep study. OHIP will not cover the cost without a valid Ontario Health Card Number (HCN). Laboratory tests are usually preceded by a
clinical evaluation including a medical history, a physical examination and possibly a sleep questionnaire. Careful analysis of this clinical information will determine whether a laboratory evaluation is required.
What does a sleep lab do?
During a full sleep study, the staff will monitor your brain wave activity, leg muscle activity, chin muscle
tone, eye muscle movement, heart function, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen saturation. Some optional test may be done such as carbon dioxide levels. All monitoring is done by attaching small metal discs called electrodes onto the
surface of the skin. There is no discomfort.
What are the results?
An overnight sleep study produces the
equivalent of 800 pages of different types of data on how your body functions during sleep. The analysis and interpretation of these data are labour intensive. Therefore, it may take up to four weeks for your doctor to receive the
The results of your sleep study will help your doctor choose the appropriate treatment for your particular sleep problem. Patients are entitled to obtain a copy of their test results. These are not hard to
interpret and are very informative.
Going for a sleep study is a positive step towards a better night’s sleep and a more alert day.