patients. A list of accredited sleep facilities is available at www.aasmnet.org.
A related issue to address is whether your insurance carrier requires testing in accredited facilities in order to cover the cost of the procedure; in many states, medical insurance will not reimburse the cost of sleep studies unless they are conducted at an AASMaccredited facility.
If you are referred for a sleep study or a polysomnogram, be sure to request that the technologist conducting your study is a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT). An RPSGT is a fully trained sleep technologist who has met the rigorous requirements to become credentialed by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.
Treating Sleep Problems
After the sleep study has been conducted and reviewed, several conditions may be diagnosed, and various specific treatments may be recommended. There is a wide range of methods for treating sleep problems. Medications may be prescribed by your physician. Sometimes a sleep psychologist is called upon to recommend non-drug approaches that may include addressing patients’ pessimism about their sleep surroundings, correcting misconceptions about sleep, controlling stimulating factors that hinder sleep and identifying positive behaviors that aid sleep. Improving your diet, your sleep environment and your bedtime rituals, including the timing of physical exercise, alcohol intake, and other factors may all contribute to a better night’s sleep.
Some patients may be candidates for night-time oral or dental applicances to reduce snoring and apnea. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine at www.aadsm.org lists dental sleep medicine specialists by state.
Sleep Problems and the Importance of After Care
Patients will often need continuing support in terms of evaluating and managing their response to various medications, treatment methods or recommended behavioral measures. Sometimes, a primary physician will prescribe the initial treatments and continue seeing the patient for followup treatments; whereas in other settings, after care occurs in dedicated sleep clinics.
Ideally, the sleep specialist who performed the initial evaluation and reviewed the sleep study with the sleep technologist will direct the patient’s after care, including follow up in his or her clinic and with other allied health professionals involved with treatment.