About Sleep studies

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Andrea4, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Andrea4

    Andrea4 New Member

    I've seen many mention having had a sleep study. I have a terrible time getting to sleep and staying asleep and i never sleep more than 2-3 hrs at a time and i am a very light sleeper. pain in the left half of my body (my left arm feeling like a piece of dead wood and my leg feeling similar but not as bad as the arm), pain in my neck and anxiety add to the trouble. i have a memory foam mattress topper and a memory foam pillow and they used to help but now they dont.

    I was thinking of asking my fibro doc for a sleep study. Are they expensive? Can someone tell me how a sleep study works? I figure I'd be too self-conscious to "sleep" in front of someone knowing i am being watched. LOL!
  2. BxGirl

    BxGirl New Member

    When you go for a sleep study, they make you very comfortable. First, you get in your jammies. You sleep in a room that looks like a hotel room - a comfy double bed and there's usually a big armoire in the room for your things. Plus a private bathroom with a shower.

    The technician comes in and puts "wires" on you. Some go on your head, some on your legs and arms. And some on various parts of your face. These monitor your breathing, brain waves, heart, lungs. There is also a belt that goes around your waist to monitor how many respirations you take when you breathe. Oh, they also monitor your eye movements when you sleep, to see what kind of REM sleep you get. Nothing at all that hurts or anything like that.

    Then you go to sleep. The room is dark so you can get to sleep. You can't see them watching you and you just forget about it. I think if they think you have Sleep Apnea they'll wake you up to put on a C-PAP machine. I don't have Sleep Apnea so they didn't wake me up.

    It takes 2-3 weeks to get the results. I don't know what it costs because my insurance covers most of it.

    I found it worth while to do it. I was never self-conscious or anything like that. The technicians are very respectful and explain everything they do.

    I just had my 2nd sleep study. This time I stayed all night and all the next day. I'm still waiting for the results. If you are having problems sleeping it's worth it to do it and will make a big difference in the quality of your sleep and waking hours!!!!

    BxGirl
  3. elsa

    elsa New Member



    Except I got my results that afternoon/early evening after my sleep study. My insurance paid for it too. $1,ooo
    to $1,500.00 isn't off the mark, plus doctor's fees.

    Bad sleep is such a cornerstone of CFS/FM, it's more and more evident that sleep studies are necessary to good treatment.

    Elsa
  4. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    First of all, I'd have to conclude from postings to this board that there is not that much "uniform" about them. Bxgirl reports that she was made very comfortable....that was certainly NOT the case for me (of course it takes a LOT of custom-pillow-placement to make me comfortable).

    The bed felt like a concrete slab...it was not especially a "bad" bed, just not a pillow-top and without my huge assortment of pillows any bed is kind of torture to me. Also, I was surprised that I was not given adequate blankets! I don't think that my perception of cold was "just me"....I am menopausal and usally on the WARM side! I asked for extra blankets 3 times during the night, and each time received a standard hospital-issue blanket that was thin as a sheet.

    I'm grateful for these tests...they helped me qualify for S.S. I would certainly recommend anyone with sleep problems to have one. But (aside from diagnosing apnea, and restless legs, narcolepsy) I question their actual usefulness. Maybe it's because I'm a life-long insomniac that I find it hard to believe that ANYONE could have restful sleep under such contrived and uncomfortable circumstances. I don't remember being offered a shower either, wich I really count on to help wake up in the a.m. I was notified it was time to leave by 7:30, which I was ready to do because it was painful to just LIE there any longer, but often I just BEGIN to GO to sleep between 7 and 8, and I thought that should have been taken into account.

    Also, there seems to be no agreement on whether or not to take medication during a study. That I can understand, because a medication-free testing could take weeks of pre-test "cleansing". Consequently, I don't know how you can analyze someone's "natural" sleep if they are taking medication (which I was).

    Anyway, I think so little is known (or agreed upon)about sleep that I question what we can really learn from sleep studies at this point. For instance I was told that I had 7 hours of sleep. It was Stage 2, with almost ZERO deeper sleep and very little Stage 1. What I experienced was wakeful consciousness the entire night and was especially wrecked the next day. So, some doctors since then have implied that I don't really have a problem, because I had 7 hours of "sleep"! Nevermind what kind.

    I think if I had probes glued to my head during day hours, I would surely also show that I was in Stage 2 sleep! I may have eyes open and LOOK awake, but......

    Expensive? For me it would have been; fortunately I had been complaining so long to my primary doctor that she was able to order me one that was covered by my state insurance program at the time (that was 4 years ago...I doubt it would cover them today).

    I got off on a little jag there, sorry. Over-all answer I would still strongly suggest you get one if you are able.
  5. Musica

    Musica New Member

    Like BxGirl, I was in a comfortable setting, like a hotel room. The tech was very nice, and made sure to answer any questions I had. The bad wasn't bad, either, and the handout they gave in advance said to bring your own pillow if you wanted.

    They said it could take 2-3 weeks to get the results, but I had mine in 2-3 days as they actually did the report that day. I DO have sleep apnea. One thing that varies is whether they try a CPAP that night. Some facilities do, some don't. Mine doesn't, so I had to go back another time for the titration study - setting the CPAP levels. It is a good thing, because I had time to get used to a mask before trying to sleep with it.

    I also went through the day study the first time. Mainly because the sleep doc didn't think I had apnea, so wanted to have a full evaluation. As it turns out, I wouldn't have needed the day study.

    As far as cost, my insurance covered it, but I have a 20% co-pay. Even after insurance reduced the actual billed amounts, the whole thing - hospital room, techs, etc. - cost me over $400. I don't have all the costs for the second study yet. The hospital billed it wrong so that is still pending. I'd say for the night study only, it might be about $300 at a 20% co-pay.

    Don't let cost deter you. If you have sleep apnea, or any other significant sleep problem, it can have a very serious effect on your health. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart failure or stroke.

    Oh, and if you have a real problem sleeping, they can give you a sleeping pill, which they say doesn't affect the results at all. It took me a few hours to get to sleep because of pain. I couldn't figure out why they didn't give me something, unless they wanted to see how long it would take. Anyway, if you end up feeling too anxious trying to go to sleep - ask for something.

    Good luck! Good sleep really is important, so I hope you can get to the bottom of these sleep difficulties.
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I don't need to repeat about how the sleep study works since you have already been given that info!

    I will say that my studies (I have 4 over the years) were done in rooms made up to resemble your own bedroom and I was made to be as comfy as possible when you're hooked up to all these wires!! LOL

    My study was also $1500. So .... before asking your doc to send you for one, call your insurance company and ask if they cover them.

    There is also the fee for the doctor who reads the study.

    I am on Medicare as my primary insurance and also have a secondary insurance.

    Medicare will only approve $250 of the $1500 charge for the study and the hospital has to accept what Medicare approves. So, Medicare paid 80% of that $250 and my secondary insurance paid the balance in its entirety because it was done as an outpatient. So, you see, each person's coverage is different and you need to check yours out in advance.

    I was in the doctor's office for a followup after mine, and I heard a lady who was on Medicaid say that it pays the same as Medicare.

    I do have obstructive sleep apnea. I sleep with a CPAP machine with oxygen hooked up to it, too. My OSA was causing me to go into congestive heart failure, as well as not sleeping well, etc.

    Sleep apnea can be serious, so if you believe that you have a sleep disorder, it is definitely worth it to get it checked out. But, you also want to check out the financial part FIRST!!!!

    Take care,
    Janet