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Diagnostic Sleep Lab

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can be easily identified through sleep diagnostic testing at Avera St. Benedict Health Center.  Testing is performed overnight in a private sleep room.  Sensors are attached to the body to monitor breathing, heart rate, brain activity, muscle activity and oxygen levels while the patient sleeps.

If you feel you may be a candidate for a sleep study, consult your physician.  Most insurance plans cover the cost of testing and treatment devices.  For further information on the Sleep Disorders Clinic at Avera St. Benedict Health Center please call 605-928-3311.

Better sleep means better living.

The Avera St. Benedict Sleep Lab is a specially designed laboratory staffed with trained professionals who perform sleep evaluations to help diagnose and treat patients with sleeping problems.  Using the latest technology, sleep technologists work with your physician to establish your individual program.  Patients need a physician referral to participate.

Sleep Disorder

A sleep disorder is a disturbance of sleep and wakefulness.  Sleep disorders may include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements, excess daytime sleepiness, or drowsy driving.  Most sleep disorders can be effectively treated once they have been diagnosed.  Treatment may include medication, counseling, continuous positive nasal airway pressure, changes in daily habits, weight loss, or surgery if necessary.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring and brief interruptions of breathing during sleep lasting 10 seconds or more.  There are three types of apnea:  obstruction, central and mixed.  Typically, the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes the airway, forcing the individual to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night.  Sleep apnea affects both males and females of all ages.


Insomnia can result from jet lag, stress, diet, or other causes.  It generally affects an individual's job performance and how they feel during the day.  Insomnia tends to increase with age and affects about 40% of women and 30% of men.  It is often the major disabling symptom of an underlying medical disorder.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome is fast becoming one of the most common sleep disorders.  It is characterized by unpleasant crawling, prickling or tingling sensations in the legs and feet with an urge to move them for relief.  RLS leads to constant leg movements during the day and insomnia at night.  Severe RLS symptoms may develop at any age.  Many RLS patients also have periodic limb movement disorder or PLMD, which causes repetitive involuntary jerking of the limbs, especially the legs.  These movements occur every 20-40 seconds.  In some cases, it may be linked to conditions such as anemia, diabetes or pregnancy.


Narcolepsy is a syndrome of unknown origin that is characterized by abnormal sleep tendencies, excessive daytime sleepiness, disturbed nocturnal sleep and manifestations of REM sleep.  Narcolepsy affects both men and women of any age.  It is usually noticed between 15-30 years of age.  Symptoms include:

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
    The first symptom of narcolepsy.  The patient feels tired all the time.  Unwanted episodes of sleep occurring several times a day.  The individual falls asleep not only intentionally, but also at embarrassing times, such as at the dinner table, during social activities, or in dangerous situations.  The patient wakes up refreshed, then experiences rebound sleepiness.
  • Cataplexy
    The sudden, brief loss of muscle control.  It can be mild, as a brief feeling of weakness in the knees, or it may be severe, causing a complete collapse resulting in a fall.

What to Expect

A Sleep Lab study is a test that records your physical state during various stages of nighttime sleep and wakefulness.  It provides data that helps evaluate sleep and sleep-related complaints by identifying sleep stages, body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rate, and snoring and general sleep behavior.

After completing a questionnaire, you will be asked to get ready for bed.  Electrodes will record brain waves, muscle movements, rapid eye movement, air intake, periodic limb movement, and snoring.  Your brain waves will be recorded to determine when you are awake or in stages of REM sleep.

In the morning you will be able to go to work.  Based on the results of your sleep study, you will be given treatment tailored to your individual sleep disorder.

Sleep Evaluation

You may consider a sleep evaluation if any of these apply to you:

  • You feel that your sleep is not satisfactory.
  • You have trouble falling asleep or staying awake.
  • You have been told that you walk, talk, moan, or grind your teeth while you sleep.
  • You have been told that your legs twitch or kick during the night.
  • You lie awake at night feeling worried or anxious.
  • You awaken suddenly gasping for breath.
  • You have been told that you snore.
  • You feel extremely sleepy during the day.
  • You have had sudden attacks of physical weakness.
  • Family members are troubled by the above symptoms.

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, and it interferes with your daily life, please contact your physician or call the Sleep Diagnostic Lab at Avera St. Benedict Health Center in Parkston at 605-928-3311.