Help for Sleep Woes
Can't get your full night's worth of shut-eye? WebMD has some suggestions.
Accrediting a Sleep Center
Another option for people with sleep problems is a visit to a sleep center.
But make sure it is accredited, say experts.
"There's a high quality standard and guidelines for care that (centers)
have to meet the requirements for, and not all sleep laboratories could meet
those criteria," says Rosenberg. "At least you know, at minimum,
accredited centers have those criteria."
Sleep centers can be accredited by the AASM or by the Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The AASM has accredited 893
sleep facilities to date. JCAHO has accredited more than 100 sleep centers.
"The AASM sets very rigorous standards of quality patient care, focusing
on comprehensive clinical evaluation and treatment," says Epstein.
JCAHO, on the other hand, asserts it is the nation's oldest and largest
standards setting and accrediting body in health care. JCAHO gives
accreditations to not only sleep centers, but to hospitals, clinical
laboratories, and behavioral health facilities as well.
What to Expect
Most sleep specialists and centers are covered by insurance, although the
amount of coverage depends upon the particular insurance, say experts.
On a first visit to a sleep center or specialist, patients can expect to
answer questions about sleep history, medical history, sleep problems,
emotional status, diet, and exercise habits. Also expect to undergo a physical
It is not unusual for specialists to give patients a sleep history diary to
complete prior to the office visit, or to ask, if possible, to bring a bed
partner to describe habits during sleep.
Once the sleep specialist has evaluated a patient, he or she might suggest a
course of action such as counseling, or suggest further testing. Tests may
include a sleep study.