Sleep Studies

Our experienced clinical physiologists at the sleep unit are dedicated to solving patients sleep problems.

Sleep Unit

What are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders blight the lives of many people and their partners. Heavy snoring for example, can cause relationships to break down, while daytime sleepiness can affect your ability to study or work (and may also be a major contributor to other health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease).

If you think you may suffer from a sleep disorder, a sleep study carried out by the Sleep Unit at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital can determine the best treatment plan.

What is sleep apnoea?

In some cases daytime sleepiness is caused by not getting enough sleep, but it may also be due to an intrinsic sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This is where breathing is interrupted by a reduction in airflow despite respiratory effort; this is due to relaxation in the muscle tone at the back of the throat and upper airway. This disrupts sleep and causes tiredness during the day which can also cause weight gain.

What can be done about it?

Recent advances in the identification and treatment of sleep apnoea have improved the quality of life for millions of people. Sometimes a simple change in lifestyle can help (losing weight, for example). In many cases treatment with continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) is the most widely advocated and effective treatment for OSA. It is a machine that supports the airways throughout the night, significantly reduces snoring and sleep disruption caused by OSA.  Doctors work out what is most appropriate for each person from the results of a sleep study.

The sleep study

Sleep studies aim to diagnose sleep disordered breathing (SDB), and may be used to exclude OSA. They are used to assess breathing throughout the night via a range of measurements including airflow, snoring levels, oxygen levels, heart rate, muscle effort and body position. This can all be fitted in the clinic, then worn overnight at home in the comfort of your own bed

What happens next?

Based on the results of the sleep study, the Consultant in sleep medicine will recommend that you are either:

  • Referred for dietary advice, or
  • Referred for CPAP trial

A report will be sent to your GP with an explanation of the appropriate treatment options. Alternatively, a follow-up appointment with the Consultant can be arranged.

Who provides the service?

The Sleep Unit is run by a team of Clinical Physiologists, who have been specifically trained to carry out sleep studies, analyse results, fit and adjust CPAP masks and pressures. They are supported by a Consultant in Sleep and Thoracic Medicine who reports the studies.

Who should seek help?

  • People whose snoring is so bad that it is affecting their relationship with their partner.
  • People who snore and wake up feeling more tired than when they went to bed.
  • People who suffer from daytime sleepiness.

Sometimes people with an existing condition such as hypertension or heart disease are referred for sleep study if their GP suspects that sleep apnoea might be making their condition worse.

Paying for your sleep study

Your own GP or specialist may request a sleep study on your behalf. Alternatively, you may choose to have an initial consultation with a specialist.

If appropriate, you will be referred for a sleep study.

Please note that some insurance companies may not cover the cost of this treatment.

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday: 9.00am – 7.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 6.00pm

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7806 4080.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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