Sleep Disorders Center Frequently Asked Questions

What does "accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine" mean and why is it important that the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Sleep Disorders Center have this accreditation?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is a professional organization that is dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine. The academy's mission is to assure quality care for patients with sleep disorders, promote the advancement of sleep disorders and provide public and professional education.

To ensure that the standards of the AASM's mission are followed, they developed a strict process that Sleep Disorders Centers need to pass in order to achieve accreditation status. In 1979, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Sleep Disorders Center became one of the first such sleep centers in the nation to be accredited through this process.

Being "accredited" means our Sleep Disorders Center has met stringent standards set forth by the AASM. In addition, centers maintain their accreditation through regular reviews by the AASM, keeping abreast of changes in the field of sleep medicine.

What is the age range for patients?

At the Sleep Disorders Center patients older than 10 years are accepted upon referral from their physician. For patients 10 years of age and younger, the following guidelines apply:

  • Patients under the age of 2 years are not accepted for referral. The requesting physician or patient's family will be referred to an appropriate regional pediatric sleep program.
  • Patients who are 2 to 10 years of age may be accepted upon review of the clinical information by the director of the Sleep Disorders Center.

How long does an overnight sleep study last?

A sleep study recording usually lasts around 8 hours.

What are the rooms like?

Each of the rooms at the Sleep Disorders Center has a bedroom-like setting and is specially equipped to allow for the recording and assessment of sleep. Each of these bedrooms has a private bathroom with shower, TV with cable television, and a telephone. Our patient rooms each have a separate thermostat. All of our patient beds are Sleep Number beds so you may adjust the mattress firmness to your comfort level.

What time do I need to be at the Sleep Disorders Center for my overnight sleep study?

You need to arrive at about 8:00 pm.

What time do I need to go to sleep?

Generally, we like to have you in your bed with the lights out and the TV off by 11:00 pm. This is to ensure that we have enough time to gather the information we need about your sleep. If you require a much later or earlier bedtime, please contact the Sleep Disorders Center before you arrive for your sleep study to allow for any special arrangements.

After I have all these wires on and I am in bed, what do I do if I need to get up to use the bathroom?

To get up and out of your bed during the night to use the bathroom or for any other reason, all you have to do is call out for your technologist. The technologist will come into your room and unhook a few wires so you can move freely around the room.

What time does my study end in the morning?

Generally, the overnight sleep recordings are ended sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 am unless special circumstances permit.

What time in the morning can I leave the Sleep Disorders Center?

If you do not have to stay for any daytime testing (see multiple sleep latency test), you should be ready to go home around mid to late morning. One of our sleep physicians will see you in the morning, following your sleep study, to review the results of your recording and then will meet with you to discuss these results and treatment recommendations.

Are there meals served at the Sleep Disorders Center?

There are no meals served at the Sleep Disorders Center.

Can a friend or family member stay with me during the overnight evaluation?

In general, there are two situations where an additional person can stay in the room with the patient during the overnight evaluation:

  • A patient's health situation requires them to have a caregiver
  • Patients who are under 18 years of age

Patients who are minors require a parent or legal guardian in attendance for the full duration of their stay within the Sleep Disorders Center.

With explicit consent of the parent or legal guardian and clearance from the Sleep Disorders Center's clinical coordinator and medical director, adolescents between 14 to 18 years of age may stay alone.

If you fit these criteria please call at least 24 hours in advance to notify the Sleep Disorders Center that you will need a room to accommodate one extra person.

What do I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my test?

We request that cancellations for any reason other than illness be made at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment time. If you are ill on the day of your scheduled appointment, please call immediately to be rescheduled.

Will my medical insurance cover the costs of this test?

In general, sleep studies are a covered diagnostic procedure and coverage by insurance carriers may vary. We strongly recommend that you contact your insurance carrier to verify requirements and coverage before proceeding with your sleep study. Your insurance company will need the name of the services you will be receiving and the associated billing codes to determine your coverage. The billing code information (CPT Code) you will need to give your insurance company is:

  • Outpatient consultation, 99243 or 99244
  • Polysomnography, 95810

This testing is billed as an office based diagnostic laboratory procedure and does not require a hospital admission. If your insurance carrier requires prior approval or a statement of medical necessity, please contact the physician who referred you to the Sleep Disorders Center. If you participate in an HMO or Managed Care Program, please arrange for approval before your study.

What are the Sleep Disorders Center's hours?

Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.