An essential element of the clinical sleep health educator (CCSH) role is an understanding of modes and rationale for sleep testing based on patient history and complaints. In addition, an understanding of the data derived from the various types of testing and the ability to evaluate that data is crucial. In module two of the AAST Enhanced CCSH Designated Education Program, Jon Atkinson, BS, RPSGT, CCSH, FAAST, discusses the rationale behind sleep testing, both in the laboratory and the home, and highlights the importance of a quality sleep history to ensure the appropriate level of testing and sleep environment is provided. Additionally, Atkinson gives an overview of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) indications, recommended protocols and scoring process for each test.
A fundamental understanding of normal sleep and wakefulness, along with related behavioral and physiologic variables, provides the basis from which sleep disorders in patients of all ages can be identified. It is also crucial that a sleep professional has a fundamental understanding of each sleep disorder as patterns and stages of sleep and wakefulness and the distribution, proportion and progression of different stages of sleep and wakefulness across a sleep episode develop and change from birth through old age.
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