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Sleep Study Info

Sleep Study: Do you know how you are sleeping?

Sleep study or more technically called as Polysomnograph is a diagnostic testing for sleep disorders. This is meant to understand your sleeping pattern. Sleep study mostly involves spending all night in a sleep center laboratory. This is typically ordered by a doctor.

Sleep research is a valuable and important field of study. Sleep study has only been acknowledged recently as specialty in medicine. Using machines for its test brought about its rapid advancement in the field of medicine.

Why do you need your sleep to be studied?

Those who undergo this procedure usually have sleeping problems. These problems can be:

1. The inability to stay awake
2. If there is difficulty in breathing while sleeping
3. Sleepwalking, nightmares and wetting in bed
4. Insomnia
5. Cannot sleep during the daytime work night shift
6. Muscle contractions at the arms, legs and feet while sleeping.

If such irregularities happen, then you are a likely candidate for sleeping study.

Common types of sleep study

Sleep study has types in which all three has its own area of concentration. They are the following:

This test will record some of your body functions during sleep like the eye movement, the carbon dioxide and oxygen blood levels, the brain activity, the heart rate, and the breathing and the flow of air. This will also look at the body muscle, belly and chest movement and well as your snoring.

Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT)
This will measure the length of your sleep. This can determine if you went into REM sleep.

Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT)
This test will measure if you can be awake all the time during hours you normally are awake.

This is a test especially for people having a work shift sleep disorder.

How sleep disorders are diagnosed?

The first step that a sleep specialist orders the patient to take to diagnose sleep disorders accurately is a physical examinations. Next, the patient needs to fill-up several questionnaires. The specialist also would want to have the medical records of the patient.

Then the patients sleep patterns will be measured using devices like EMG (electromyogram), EOG (electrooculogram) and EEG (electroencephalogram). Brains wave activities will be record by EEG, EOG will trace movement of the eye to see if a patient went into REM sleep. EMG will measure Muscle tension. The doctor will review the results to see if you have disorders through the results taken from these devices.

The PSG (polysomnogram) is a non-invasive sleep test that will record the vital signs and the physiology of night sleep. This will include the results for other tests taken from EMG, EEG and the EOG. PSG will measure the airflow, saturation of blood oxygen, the heart and puse rate, the respiratory effort and position of the body. These tests are done to assess any sleep disturbances.

Normal conditions of sleep:

1. No irregular brain activity like seizure.
2. Slow movement of the eye at the beginning of sleep and will change to rapid movements to the eye at REM sleep.
3. No jerking or other abnormal leg and muscle movement
4. O2 level of blood oxygen is more than 90%
5. No changes in heart rate must occur.
6. No or reduce airflow must occur less than 5 times in an hour.
7. No night terrors and sleepwalking
8. Airflow through nose and mouth not blocked
9. Normal time it takes to fall asleep is 10-20 minutes
10. It is normal to be awake for 25 minutes

Values that are not normal will tell you something is wrong with your sleep. They are as follows:

1. Blocked or less airflow into the lungs occurring more that 5 times an hour. This would be diagnosed as sleep apnea.
2. Taking more than 20 minutes before sleeping.
3. Less that five minutes before sleeping.

If test results are not helpful or you were not able to take the test, the following may have occurred:

You may have a sleep disorder now. Only a sleep study will diagnose what type of sleep disorder you are suffering from. Consult a sleep center for a sleep study.

Sleep Disorder types, symptoms, treatment & self-help

Sleeping under duress

It is a fine concept that sleep is the time where you rest and are brought some inner peace. But the truth is that your sleep might not be making you healthy. That is why there are sleep study centers available to help you with sleep disorders.

Sleep study is important to bring awareness concerning sleep disorders. Untreated sleeping disorders will increase the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure and other grave conditions. Sleep disorders have a connection to injuries and accidents such as car crashes and falls.

Doctors diagnose sleep disorders. Treatments are there to help you deal with your sleeping problems. See your doctor if you snore and always feel tired and fall asleep at work.

Sleep Disorder Types

1. Sleep apnea. This is when a person stops from breathing for 10 seconds or more while sleeping. This will cause the airflow blockage during sleep. The brain signals are affected.
2. Narcolepsy. The condition in which one is having a hard time being awake.
3. Sleep walking, bed wetting or night terrors.
4. Insomnia. Unable to sleep during night. This type of sleep disorder may have been a result from depression, stress, hunger, among others.
5. Shift work disorder. Problems of falling asleep during daytime if kept awake at night.
6. Periodic Limb. A problem with a muscle twitching repeatedly while sleeping.

Sleep Disorder symptoms

Several factors might affect your time of sleep. These sleep disorder symptoms are consistent in both day and night disrupting your sleep. If you suffer these symptoms, it means you will feel weak and fatigued.

Sleep disorders symptoms are caused by several factors, here are the following:

1. Physiological and psychiatric. Vices such as drinking alcohol and smoking can upset your sleep. Depression and anxiety also contribute to sleeping problems. Chain of events comes to a depressed person dealing with a problem. All these are unlike healthy and may cause restlessness.
2. RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). This will surely disturb your sleep at night. Effects of RLS is itching and pain in the leg occurring in bed during your sleep.
3. Graveyard work shift. Getting used to sleep day work night is quite hard to adjust. It is not surprising if you will have problems sleeping.
4. Medications. Some medications like anti depressants can interrupt sleep patterns.
5. Age. Getting older makes a night’s rest harder.
6. Genetics. There is a neurological abnormality called narcolepsy that affects sleep.
7. Stress. Too much worrying and thinking will make a person unable to sleep.

Sleep Disorder Treatment

Treating sleep disorders will depend on the cause. Here are some of the common causes and corresponding treatments.
Your sleep specialist will first figure out what the cause of your troubled sleep is. Could it be due stress, or maybe an underlying illness? Is it drinking too much coffee? Consult your doctor about your physical and emotional problems, medications you are taking, and your lifestyle. This will help to determine what treatment you will need.

After your doctor rules out medical problems causing your insomnia, try self-care treatment. "Good sleep hygiene" practices help you to ensure quality sleep.

Good sleep hygiene:
1. Sleep at your regular bedtime. Get up each morning at same time.
2. No napping at day.
3. Do not do stressful activities or any energetic exercise before sleeping. Do exercise in the morning.
4. Do relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and meditation before sleeping.
5. Keep everything silent.
6. Leave the room if you can’t sleep and try to read a book.
7. Avoid coffee, diet pills, tea,or soft drinks.
8. No alcohol or nicotine before sleeping.

Sleep sideways.
No alcohol and smoking.
No sleeping pills or sedatives.

To know more about sleep disorder treatments, consult a sleep specialist. Consult a doctor if you snore or have insomnia. Do not take this condition lightly as it can be a cause for undesired health problems and accidents.