David Dare, M.D.
The vast research and reporting about the importance of sleep are enough to keep you awake at night. But what's really interfering with your sleep may be issues like age, anxiety, insomnia, snoring, stress, menopause, weight, restless leg syndrome or health conditions like sleep apnea, which need to be addressed to avoid more serious problems.
Sleep health is a vital part of your overall physical and mental health because sleep accounts for about one-third of your life. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 people don't get enough sleep for a wide range of reasons. How much sleep is enough? The CDC recommends that adults should snooze for at least seven hours a day.
If you're concerned about your sleep, a Sleep Medicine professional can help. Consultation, testing and care for various sleep disorders can help improve the quality of your sleep.
While sleep medicine professionals are available at a number of Mayo Clinic Health System brick-and-mortar clinics, patients across Minnesota now can get their sleep issues assessed close to home at the Mobile Health Clinic via a telehealth appointment.
Consultations and follow-up appointments are handled much like they would be in a clinic. It's an opportunity for Sleep Medicine professionals to reach more patients over a broader geographic area, and you don't need to invest in as much travel time.
After you're referred to Sleep Medicine by your healthcare team, you can make an appointment for the Mobile Health Clinic via the patient portal or by phone. When you arrive at the unit, a staff member will show you to a private room, make sure the virtual connection is functioning and then your one-on-one consultation will begin. The staff member will remain available for technical support if needed.
During this telehealth appointment, you can discuss your sleep concerns or issues and if needed, receive a referral for sleep testing or possibly medications for treatment.
For example, if a sleep study would help reveal possible causes of sleep issues, the Sleep Medicine specialist may order an at-home study. Home sleep studies grew in popularity during the pandemic and continue to be convenient and beneficial for a large number of patients.
During a home sleep study, your sleep is monitored through a device that reports data via an app on your cellphone. The home sleep study device can be mailed to your home or you can pick it up from the Mobile Health Clinic. After the study is complete, you'll have a follow-up appointment at the Mobile Health Clinic to go over the results and any recommendations.
While convenience is a major factor in choosing care at the Mobile Health Clinic, other benefits include:
- Ease of setting up appointments by phone or the patient portal
- Eliminating the need for a strong internet connection for at-home telehealth appointments
- Improving access to a broad range of specialists without the travel time
- Reducing the need for technology skills
- Receiving care for both acute and chronic conditions
- Receiving continuity of care with familiar staff
Together, you and a sleep medicine specialist can help determine how best to improve the quality of your sleep.