COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

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, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, 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 then 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 medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

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

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

    Make an enquiry

    Latest articles

    The latest news, insights and views from St John and Elizabeth Hospital.

    Find out what we’re doing to keep you safe, read expert articles and interviews with our leading specialist Consultants, learn more about common conditions and get your questions answered.

    Remember to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get the latest news sent straight to your inbox.

    a close up of above the pelvic region - a blog post about urology

    23rd July 2021

    What does a urologist do on the first visit?

    We look at the complex world of urology and what to expect on the first visit to a urologist.

    dr showing how to examine breasts for lumps

    16th July 2021

    How regular screenings at a breast clinic can keep you healthy

    Having screenings at a breast clinic can put your mind at rest or allow you to take early action if something abnormal is found.

    private surgeons performing a hernia operation

    09th July 2021

    Scheduled for a hernia operation? Here’s what to expect

    We look at hernias and the different types that can occur, what kind of symptoms might tell you you have a hernia and what to expect if you’re scheduled to have a hernia operation.

    A smiling nurse

    02nd July 2021

    How much does a cervical screening cost?

    Wondering how much a cervical screening costs? We examine this important procedure and…

    a close up of female skin side shoulder view

    18th June 2021

    Checking your skin at a private dermatology clinic

    We examine the functions of the skin, what can go wrong and when…

    a doctor talking to a patient at a private urgent care centre in london

    04th June 2021

    A private urgent care centre for when you need immediate attention

    There’s no need to wait around when you opt for a private urgent…

    A patient waiting at London Urology

    28th May 2021

    The 3 most common prostate problems you need to know about

    One in five men will experience prostate problems at some point in their…

    Fibroscan at The Gi Unit

    14th May 2021

    What is a Fibroscan: Five facts you may not know

    A Fibroscan is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure used to accurately assess…

    International Nurses Day blog banner

    11th May 2021

    International Nurses Day 2021 at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital

    This year’s theme of International Nurses Day is: “A Voice to Lead –…

    Close up of woman exercising on gym machine

    23rd April 2021

    Mr Dimitrios Tsekes: How to avoid a bicep injury in the gym, and how to treat a bicep tendon tear

    Mr Dimitrios Tsekes, a leading orthopaedic and upper-limb surgeon at our Shoulder Unit,…

    12th March 2021

    Patient safety awareness: our pledge

    Patient safety is at the heart of St John & St Elizabeth Hospital’s…

    03rd March 2021

    Ask the Expert: Cataracts

    Cataracts are a common issue affecting older adults, where cloudy patches form on…