Ask a Sleep Doctor: Q&A with Dr. Andrea Matsumura

Thursday, November 14, 2019


What is a sleep center?

This is a medical office where patients receive a consultation from a sleep doctor and have a sleep study performed. During the consultation, the doctor will help determine if there is a potential sleep disorder causing problems functioning in daytime and risk factors to general health.

What is a sleep study?

A sleep study is a tool used to make a medical diagnosis, similar to an MRI scan or other test. A sleep study helps us gather information to see if breathing, movement, or neurological changes are causing sleep disorders.

How do sleep studies work?

A polysomnogram is an overnight sleep study in a sleep center. It records breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels, heart rhythm, movement and brain waves to determine sleep stages. A home sleep study records breathing. Sleep studies provide doctors with information about breathing, movement and brain waves to see if a patient has a sleep disorder. This information, along with the patient’s health history, helps us determine the best course of action for our patients.

Why would a doctor recommend a sleep study?

If a patient has a potential breathing or movement abnormality that is affecting their sleep, they should be recommended to have a sleep study.

What else should patients know before seeing a sleep doctor?

Be wary of big, flashy advertisements for tools and oral appliances marketed to help you get better sleep. You could be causing more harm than good by using one of these before being evaluated by a sleep medicine doctor. Oral appliances should be made by a prosthodontist, a person who is not only a dentist but is qualified to make hardware for the mouth.

What makes The Oregon Clinic Sleep Centers unique?

We have two comprehensive sleep centers with a wide breadth of knowledge in all sleep disorders and how they can affect one’s health. Our sleep centers have state-of-the-art equipment and beds that allow patients to feel comfortable when receiving a test. Our certified sleep technicians go above and beyond to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

As comprehensive sleep centers, we offer a full array of sleep studies including overnight, home, and daytime sleep studies. We also offer sleep therapy tools like CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, a device that provides room air under pressure. It is one of my favorite things to prescribe because everyone needs air to live and it does not have any side effects.

What do our sleep center rooms look like and what amenities do they have?

They look like hotel rooms! Each room has a Sleep Number bed to adjust firmness and softness. We also have fans if you get hot, a nightstand, a full bath to get ready for your day, extra blankets, and a TV (although we don’t recommend watching it before bed). We have worked hard to make the sleeping environment as comfortable as possible. 

Why did you become a sleep doctor?

I chose to pursue sleep medicine because sleep is the juggernaut focus for wellness. Without sleep our bodies can’t function. Our immune systems weaken, we are at risk for cardiovascular events, and we can shorten our life if we are chronically sleep deprived. 

Interested in learning more about our sleep centers? Visit OregonClinic.com/sleep-medicine