Martha Jefferson Monday: What Happens in a Sleep Study?

Posted: Updated:

If you have trouble sleeping at night or wake feeling unrested, you might be suffering from a sleep condition. Martha Jefferson performs sleep studies to diagnose the underlying causes of sleeping troubles. But what happens during a sleep study? 

"A sleep study is a clinical study in which a patient will come into our sleep center and we monitor electronically a lot of things that go on when that patient sleeps at night," says Dr. Chris Winter, Medical Director of the Martha Jefferson Sleep Medicine Center. 

The Sleep Medicine Center at Martha is located at the Hilton Garden Inn with the hope is that patients will have a comfortable stay. Studies are done seven nights a week. 

After settling in, a technologist hooks the patient up to wires that will track activity while they snooze. 

"None of them hurt. None of them are uncomfortable or embarrassing," says Dr. Winter of the wires. 

Then, it's time to settle down. 

Dr. Winter explains, "If they like to watch television before they go to bed, they can do that.  If they like to read, they can do that too." 

Once asleep, the monitoring begins. There's a camera in the room so technologists can see their patients. They also monitor electronically. 

"Once the individual goes to sleep, the technologist is monitoring all the different devices and sensors that are on the patient during the night," says Winter. 

Once the study is complete it only takes a few days before the doctor can follow-up and share their findings. The studies can help diagnose problems such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. 

Dr. Winter says, "I think that anyone who has difficulty maintaining their sleep, or having a restful sleep would be an ideal candidate for a sleep study." 

If you would like to find out more information on this topic, or to sign up for a free sleep apnea support group, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.  

If you have a question you'd like to submit, email us at Healthquestions@nbc29.com and keep watching every Monday Morning at sunrise for the answers.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.