Benefits of a Sleep Study
There are many benefits of a sleep study in determining any connection between your sleep habits and your health. While some people struggle with sleeping through the night on occasion, or seasonally because of allergies, if you struggle with sleeping through the night on a regular basis, a sleep study can help determine what is causing you to wake up fatigued. Your symptoms of fatigue, poor concentration, and high blood pressure may cause your physician to believe a sleep study is warranted.
What Is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study is a procedure in which lab technicians monitor your sleep overnight using visual observation and other measurements to determine how well you are sleeping, whether or not you are achieving REM, and whether or not you stop breathing while sleeping. A sleep study helps doctors diagnose disorders like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome as well as behaviors like sleepwalking. These nighttime health issues are not something your doctor can diagnose with a simple office visit.
How Do I Prepare for a Sleep Study?
The preparation required for your sleep study may depend on why you’re having it. For example, if you have epilepsy, and the sleep study is required to monitor your nighttime seizure activity, your doctor may ask you to arrive at the study sleep deprived. For most people, however, you will be encouraged to maintain your normal routine, take your medicines, but avoid alcohol.
What Happens During a Sleep Study?
When you arrive for the sleep study, the technicians will have you prepare for bed. They will attach monitors to your heart, place an oximeter on your finger to measure your pulse rate and Oxygen saturation levels, and place electrodes throughout your head for an EEG. Your heart rate, breathing rate, eye movements, and body movements, along with your REM and nonREM sleep are all measured. Using these monitors plus video observation, the technicians will be able to make connections between what happens when you are asleep and what is happening in your brain and to your heart.
For personalized advice, contact Sleep & Neuroscience Associates.