Emerging Industry Overview: Sleep Clinics

Industry Snapshot

Sleep clinics provide a specialized location in which to study sleep disorders. There are two major types of sleep disorders: dyssomnias and parsomnias. A dyssomnia is a disorder of getting to sleep or staying asleep or of excessive sleepiness, whereas parasomnias are disorders of arousal or the interface between sleep and waking. Parasomnias may be induced or exacerbated by sleep but they are not disorders of the sleep stages as dyssomnias are.

Sleep clinics usually have a supervising physician, but the majority of the work will be completed by technicians. Patients might never see a physician while at the clinic, but that should not be a concern as experienced technicians can handle the routine work of sleep tests. A doctor will get the results after the test is completed and interpret them.

A study at a sleep clinic can be expensive, but many insurance programs will pay for it if referred by a primary physician. The doctor who has been handling the previous sleep disorder episodes should make the referral.