Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Sleep Laboratory and CPAP Program
About the Program
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Sleep Disorders Center provides full service diagnostic sleep testing for veterans. The Sleep Laboratory includes 4 testing beds and performs diagnostic polysomnograms, CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV titration studies, as well as daytime testing such as multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWT).
Patients referred to the sleep laboratory for testing have a variety of disorders including sleep disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea, central apnea, and hypoventilation syndromes. Many other sleep disorders such as a narcolepsy, sleep related movement disorders, parasomnias, and sleep stage disorders are also commonly identified during testing. The Sleep Laboratory follows the accreditation standards of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and is committed to conducting the highest quality testing possible.
Sleep Medicine is a multidisciplinary specialty and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is fortunate to have a broad range of clinicians who provide ongoing care to patients with sleep disorders, including Board Certified Sleep Specialists, Pulmonologists, Neurologists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Otolaryngologists, and Dentists. For patients with obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep related breathing disorders, ongoing care and treatment with CPAP, BiPAP, or ASV is provided through the Respiratory Department and in the Sleep Apnea Clinic.
Patient Information for Sleep Studies
- You should report to room D-286 the night of your sleep study at 8:00 pm.
- Rooms are equipped with televisions.
- Restroom and shower facilities are available in the sleep laboratory.
- There is generally plenty of parking in front of or beside the building.
- Eat dinner before you report for your sleep study.
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol prior to your sleep study.
- Do no nap the day of your sleep study.
- If you work nights and prefer to have your sleep study conducted during the day then you must arrange for this in advance. Contact the Respiratory Department (see Contact Information section) to make arrangements for this.
- Do not use hair products like gel, mouse, oil, or hairspray the day of your study.
- If you have a beard, please shave or at least trim your beard. Facial hair can make placement of the monitoring system difficult. If you need treatment for sleep apnea, facial hair can interfere with that too.
- If you have tight braids or material woven into your hair, it should be removed before the study. Otherwise, the monitoring system cannot be placed on your scalp correctly.
- Do not wear jewelry like earrings and necklaces because they can interfere with the monitoring equipment. Rings and watches are generally not a problem.
- You may bring cell phones, pagers, laptops, tablets, etc. to the sleep lab but all such devices must be off for the duration of the study.
- Please leave any valuable jewelry or personal items at home. The VA is not responsible for any such items if lost or stolen.
- You will not be permitted to leave during the sleep study to smoke and smoking is not allowed in the sleep laboratory.
- It is not permissible for anyone (such as a family member or driver) to stay with you in the sleep lab during your study. Several hotels are located near the VA. However, the VA cannot provide support or assistance with housing or lodging for any family members, friends, or drivers who come with you.
- Be sure to bathe before your sleep study.
- Medications: You should bring your medications with you. Bring what you take at bedtime and also bring what you will need to take the following morning, especially if you live a long distance away and may not get home until later in the day. The sleep lab staff cannot dispense any medication.
- If you need to take insulin while at the sleep laboratory: You must dispose of syringes only in the special containers for “SHARPS” which are located in the sleep laboratory. Please DO NOT place insulin syringes in the trash or leave them in the room.
- Bring clothes to sleep in and clothes to wear the following day.
- Bring your own toiletries.
- You may bring your own pillow if you think you will sleep better with it.
- If you use a wheelchair, have difficulty walking unassisted, or use oxygen then please inform the staff when you schedule your sleep study. If your study has already been scheduled, then please contact the department as soon as possible to inform them.
You must call (843) 789-7217 during normal business hours at least 48 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule your sleep study. If you do not keep your scheduled appointment then you will not be rescheduled. You will have to be seen by the sleep physician in clinic before a new study can be ordered for you.
The Sleep Laboratory and the CPAP Program are administered through the Respiratory Department at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC. Patients with questions, concerns, or patients in need of equipment or supplies should contact the Respiratory Department. The Department can be contacted by telephone, fax, mail, secure messaging or by stopping by the department. The Department is located on the second floor, room AA-234, in the main hospital building in downtown Charleston.
Telephone: (843) 789-7217
Fax: (843) 937-6103
Mail: Ralph H. Johnson VAMC (112A)
109 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29412
You can also send us a secure message! Log on to your My HealtheVet premium account at www.myhealth.va.gov. Click on the red “Secure Messaging” tab, and then click on the orange “Open Secure Messaging” button. Click the “New Message” button, and look for SLEEP MEDICINE/CPAP – CHARLESTON VAMC in the dropdown menu in the “To:” field. Now you can send us a secure message! If you have any questions about Secure Messaging, or how to register for or upgrade to a premium account in My HealtheVet, please call 843-789-6880.
2nd floor, Room AA-234
Hours of Operation
- Call to schedule hours