Diagnosis & Treatment
Assessing Sleep Disorders
The first part of the evaluation is a thorough history and physical examination that is
done by your primary care physician. A referral for a sleep medicine consultation
by Dr. Baten may be the next appropriate step.
A sleep study may be ordered. The study consists of observing and monitoring your
nighttime sleep for one night at the CHRISTUS® St. Vincent Regional Sleep Center.
The Sleep Study
This is a recording that measures and identifies the different stages of sleep and the
breathing problems that occur during sleep. We conduct these studies using the most
current and sophisticated equipment for monitoring and evaluating patients during
While patients sleep on comfortable beds in our restful Sleep Center, technicians in an
adjacent control area observe and record such things as sleep and breathing patterns,
and other important body functions.
It is a painless and easy evaluation. Measurements are done with surface
electrodes; there are no needles or skin punctures. You will sleep in total darkness
while your sleep is digitally recorded. For your night’s study you will report to the
CHRISTUS® St. Vincent Regional Sleep Center two to three hours before your regular
bedtime and you will leave early in the morning.
Dr. Baten reviews the Sleep Study results and then provides a written report of
the findings to your referring physician. This may include recommendations for
treatment, when appropriate.
Home Sleep Tests
Some sleep disorders can be diagnosed during a routine exam and a conversation with
a certified sleep specialist such as Dr. Baten; but if you or your doctor thinks that you may
have sleep apnea, an overnight sleep study is the best way to confirm it. Home sleep tests
do not record all of the vital signs that a complete in-lab sleep study would; but, home tests
are effective in diagnosing some sleep disorders.
Home tests aren’t for everyone. It’s important to have a full exam with a certified sleep
specialist to determine whether you are a candidate for a home sleep test. For a specific group
of people, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has endorsed the use of portable
monitoring. Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid cover home tests for
The AASM approves the use of home tests only if you meet the following criteria; and, if you do
not, you will need to go to a sleep center for an overnight study.
- You are between 18 and 65 years of age
- You have a high risk of moderate-to-severe sleep apnea
- You have no other major medical problems
- You have no other sleep disorders
You may be eligible for a home sleep test if health or safety concerns prevent you from leaving
home for a night.
Your response to some sleep apnea treatments, including oral appliances, surgery, and weight
loss may also be evaluated with a home sleep test.