To diagnose sleep disorders, our licensed clinical staff gathers information, observes the patient and records physiologic data to present to our board-certified sleep physician.

Where do I begin?

Diagnosing sleep disorders typically requires a consultation by a physician, followed by a polysomnogram, or PSG—an overnight recording of sleep patterns and behaviors associated with sleep. The result is a comprehensive assessment from which our board-certified sleep physician can diagnose a sleep disorder and prescribe treatment.

Step 1: Consultation and Referral

Your journey to better sleep begins with a consultative meeting or office visit with your physician who will visit with you about your sleep concerns and issues.  A determination will be made on whether a sleep study is necessary. Your physician should then refer you to the GFCS for a sleep study, where your sleep study is performed is your choice!  You also have the option to come directly to the GFCS for a complimentary visit with one of our sleep team experts.  We can assist you in your effort to obtain a doctors order for a sleep study.

Once referred for a sleep study, the Grand Forks Center for Sleep staff will

  • Begin to process your insurance request (if applicable)
  • Call you to arrange your study
  • Answer your questions and assign your "homework"
   Patient brochure, Your Sleep Study, The Essential Facts

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Step 2: Homework

Prior to your stay, you will receive a packet of information regarding your overnight sleep study. This packet will include some homework which includes answering some questions and recording your sleep habits. Please complete these and bring them with you for your overnight stay.

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Step 3: Admission to the Center

Sleep Study Rooms
When you arrive for your sleep study, you'll check in and be shown to your sleep suite—which has a luxurious hotel room feel. There you'll:

  • Get comfortable—make yourself at home
  • Visit with a sleep specialist who is registered in polysomnographic technology, respiratory therapy and/or nursing
  • Review medical and sleep history—including your homework assignment
  • Preview the entire process for the study
  • Learn about a CPAP device and experience it for yourself
  • Change into your nighttime attire and get ready for bed

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Step 4: Your Study Begins at Bedtime

Just before your bedtime, you'll change into your nighttime attire and be setup with the polysomnogram (PSG) equipment. You'll then sleep on a comfortable queen-size Tempurpedic Mattress - the finest available.

While you sleep, information is gathered regarding your physical state during various stages sleep and wakefulness. There are two parts to the night:

1. Information gathering
The PSG equipment records:

  • Breathing patterns and air flow
  • Brain waves
  • Eye movement
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Snoring
  • Heart activity
  • Leg movement
  • Chin muscle movement
  • States of sleep and wakefulness

2. Treatment Applied
From a control room, licensed polysomnographic technicians are constantly monitoring your polysomnogram readings while you sleep. If clinically indicated, staff will gently wake you and apply a form of treatment called CPAP for the remainder of the night. Information collection continues.

In the morning, your study is over. Patients may freshen up at the center or at home and then carry out their normal routines.

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Step 5: Reading Your Results and Making a Diagnosis

Sophisticated equipment records your data but a polysomnographic technician personally scores it by hand. At the Grand Forks Center for Sleep, we prefer hand-scoring so our experts can note observations and subtle patterns in sleep. Technicians compile all the information into a report and present it to the sleep physician for further review.

Our board-certified sleep physician reads the report, interprets the data and makes a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor will consider and prescribe treatment that fits your diagnosis and your lifestyle.

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Step 6: Treatment

Our sleep physician or others from the center will review your treatment options with you.

The disorder we see most often is sleep apnea. Treatment for this disorder may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. With this therapy you use a bedside device to gently deliver pressurized air through a small mask or nasal pillow system. It's commonly referred to as a CPAP machine.

Our sleep experts work with you to find equipment that fits your lifestyle. To ensure it's comfortable you can even try it in a bedroom setting before taking it home.

Treatment products are available from many sources, including the Grand Forks CPAP Store, located within the Grand Forks Center for Sleep.

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Step 7: Treatment Follow-up

Success with CPAP therapy requires some trial and error. We'll work with you as long as it takes to get it right—long after you leave the center.

Once you're using your therapy at home, our sleep experts will help you monitor progress, make adjustments and provide advice on use and care of equipment.

Treatment products are available from many sources, including the Grand Forks CPAP Store, located within the Grand Forks Center for Sleep.


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