There have been great advances in our understanding of normal sleep and sleep medicine since the late 1970s. Technology such as the EEG, MRI, CT scan and CPAP machine have made neurological sleep studies far simpler and less costly. The brain is now a well understood, well-mapped out organ (although there is still much to be discovered).
With all this new knowledge (and some pretty cool sleep gadgets) doctors started opening sleep laboratories where they could dedicate their time to diagnosing and treating those with sleep disorders. Sleep apnea was the first disorder to be well considered, but today sleep laboratories deal with a long list including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, Kleine-Levin syndrome, menstrual-related hypersomnia, idiopathic recurrent stupor, or circadian rhythm disturbances.
If you have any sleep concerns I strongly recommend making an appointment at a Sleep Centre near you. These centres are run by multi-disciplinary teams comprising technicians, nurses, and doctors who have specialised in sleep medicine. We are lucky in South Africa that we have a sleep lab in just about every major city.
Here they are:
GAUTENG: Morningside Sleep Centre at Morningside Hospital in Sandton
PRETORIA: The Pretoria Sleep Centre via The Zuid Afrikaans Hospital
and The Little Company of Mary Hospital
CAPE TOWN: Cape Sleep Centre in Gatesville
PORT ELIZABETH: Port Elizabeth Sleep Centre
DURBAN: Durban Sleep Centre