Everything You Need to Know About a Sleep Study
Everything You Need to Know About a Sleep Study
- How to prepare for a sleep study?
- What is the purpose of a sleep study?
- What happens before the sleep study?
- How does the sleep study begin?
- Sleep Study: How it progresses?
- So, what is this daytime nap study or Multiple Sleep Latency Test?
- When can you get the result of your sleep study?
- In a nutshell
Sleep deprivation, one of the major disorders among Americans, claims countless lives every year. Many consult a therapist or a psychiatrist who prescribes them medicines which several have claimed to have little or no outcome.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asserts that drowsy driving causes at least 100,000 vehicle accidents each year that takes about 1500 lives. Moreover, according to a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, around 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by intermittent sleep issues and chronic sleep disorders resulting in a severe decline in alertness and health.
To cure these sleep-related issues, American Sleep Centers being a reputed sleep center performs a study called Polysomnogram on an individual to monitor what their brain and body are going through when they are asleep.
If you are reading this, then it is quite possible that you are also going through sleeping troubles which are disrupting your everyday life. You might have several questions as to what is causing your sleep deprivation and how can you make it go away.
In such cases, the benefits of sleep study will be significantly useful for helping you drastically cure all your sleep-related issuers. Numerous people have found this study to be beneficial and have described it as a captivating experience.
However, there might be certain questions you have relating to what a sleep study is and how it works. Well, a sleep study will disclose all the processes your brain is going through while you are asleep.
The result, later examined by a doctor, will recommend you ways in which you can influence your sleep. Thus, you will not only be extending your sleep time but also improving your health that will let you think properly, feel more energetic, and make you happier.
How to prepare for a sleep study?
Before going for a sleep study, you need to follow some minor rules for that day like:
- Do not consume alcohol.
- Do not consume tea, coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate in that afternoon or evening.
- Do not take any addictive drugs.
- Avoid taking naps.
- Avoid using gels, oils, and sprays after washing your hair.
Additionally, you can also bring items that can make you feel comfortable like your own pillow pajamas, sleep mask, and other if required.
Our staffs at American Sleep Centers will provide you with all required materials that you specifically need to ease your overnight stay and make you feel comfortable.
It is advisable to inform the sleep center beforehand about the prescribed and non-prescribed medications that you take. Few medicines might affect your sleep and lead to erroneous test results. You might have to adjust yourself by discontinuing some medicines up to the point of the study.
When you contact us, our sleep specialists will let you know which medicines you need to discontinue and which ones you have to continue.
What is the purpose of a sleep study?
A sleep study is presumably the most ideal way to find out the causes of your sleep deprivation. Curing sleep issues can be complicated and taking medicines after consulting a doctor may not come with a satisfactory effect.
Sleep centers like ours – American Sleep Centers, on the other hand, are considered to be the benchmark for diagnosing sleep deprivation.
Benefits of sleep study are several and a typical one conducted by a sleep center will reveal your brain functions, breathing, and heartbeat. Additionally, it will also monitor your other bodily movements like your limbs and eyes when asleep. It records even the most minuscule details with precision through the 4 stages of sleep namely:
Stage 1 –
In this stage, you are light asleep drifting in and out and can be easily awakened. It is at this stage that numerous people wake up suddenly after feeling a sensation of falling caused by muscle contraptions.
Stage 2 –
In this stage, the heartbeat slows down and the body temperature also begins to drop. Other metabolic functions also slow down along with your blood pressure.
Stage 3 –
It is the deep sleep stage where your brain waves begin to slow down and you don’t react to any disturbances. In this 3rd stage, individuals experience parasomnias like nightmares, somniloquy, sleepwalking, and nocturnal enuresis.
Stage 4 or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) –
The final stage of sleep occurs with rapid eye movement as the name suggests. Your heartbeat and respiration rates increase and cause intense dreams.
What happens before the sleep study?
Patients are usually asked to reach the sleep center during the evening to give a head start for the study. A staff then helps them locate the study chamber and introduces them to the equipment that will help in conducting the test. They might need to fill out some papers and answer a few questions about their recent sleep cycle.
It is advisable to tell the staff about any current changes in health or sleep and other issues that they have not discussed previously. Additionally, they must inform the staff about when they need to be woken up if they have work or any other events to attend.
The staff will give patients ample time to change and accommodate themselves in the chamber. For relaxing, they can take part in any activity of their choice like reading, listening to music, etc.
How does the sleep study begin?
- The sleep study begins with the applications of several electrodes to the entire body. Medical electrodes convert the ionic currents of the body into electrical current that can be read and studied.
- Additionally, a pulse Oximeter is attached to the patient’s finger that measures his heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Elastic belts are also wrapped around his abdomen and chest that measure his breathing.
This equipment might feel a little uncomfortable in the first place but one will get used to those after a while. They are designed to provide comfort to patients and will not cause any hindrance to one’s sleep. If someone feels any uneasiness with the equipment, he must be sure to inform them to the staff.
The staff makes a trail run after attaching all the equipment to one’s body to make sure everything is working fine. After everything is set, one can go back to one’s usual relaxation and take as much time as one wants before going to sleep.
Sleep Study: How it progresses?
After you fall asleep, all of your activities are automatically monitored and recorded in the computer.
a) Our sleep center expert will accompany you throughout the night to analyze you and all your computer readings.
b) A camera will also record all your movements throughout the night for doctors to later examine them. This camera will pick any abnormal movement and will contribute to the better inspection of your sleep issues.
c) The sensors and wires do not receive any changes while you switch positions when asleep. However, you might also be required to sleep in certain positions to get variable data about your heartbeat and respiration.
Additionally, problems like sleep apnea which causes involuntary breathing might also occur that will need addressing. In such cases, the expert will provide you with positive airway pressure (PAP), preferably continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator.
With CPAP, you are provided with a nasal pillow or an oxygen mask that will ease your breathing considerably and influence your sleep. The nasal pillow or the oxygen mask provides a continuous air pressure at medium range to maintain spontaneous reparation rate.
The expert will adjust the rate of oxygen supplied by the ventilator as long as you feel comfortable. Plus, the ventilator may cause a bit of discomfort for you but in the long term, you will get adjusted to it.
Generally, doctors conduct a test in advance to reveal if you have sleep apnea that you are not aware of thereby giving an edge. If recommended by the specialist, you can try the ventilator at your home to get used to it before walking into the sleep center for your sleep study.
A common question which many patients ask is how they are going to go to the washroom with all the equipment. It is quite a natural occurrence and all you need to do is say it out aloud.
As the equipment are connected to a central computer, unplugging them are relatively easier. The expert monitoring you will come and unplug all the equipment while still connected to you after which you can freely use the washroom. When you come back, the equipment will be connected to the computer again, and it will start to monitor you from where it left off.
However, your sleep is not only monitored at night. If required, specialists will also conduct a sleep study during the daytime.
So, what is this daytime nap study or Multiple Sleep Latency Test?
A Multiple Sleep Latency Test is a daytime nap study that tests an individual’s sleep during daytime. It analyses how rapidly one falls asleep during daytime under normal conditions.
Usually, individuals with Hypersomnia or narcolepsy are the recipients of a Multiple Sleep Latency Test.
Experts at American Sleep Centers can conduct this test after a sleep study if they feel necessary. It is a full-day test which generally begins after 2 to 3 hours from the conclusion of the sleep study. The test takes place with 5 naps accompanied with two-hour breaks between them; however, a test consisting of 4 naps can also happen.
Similar to the sleep study, the Multiple Sleep Latency Test also monitors all the same bodily activities. Along with this, the test further records how fast you fall asleep and how each of your naps differs from the other. This study reveals why certain individuals feel drowsy during daytime and stay wide awake at nights.
If recommended for a Multiple Sleep Latency Test, you have to make arrangements previously for an extended stay at the sleep center. As a reputed sleep center, we will also supply you with meals during the 2-hour breaks during which you have to remain awake and also, if possible, out of bed. For refraining from falling asleep, you can engage yourself in specific activities that you find leisurely.
When can you get the result of your sleep study?
A usual sleep study produces innumerable pages of data that require utmost and precise analysis. Thus, the study can be tedious and take up to 2 weeks’ time to get the full report.
Analysts and professionals take into account all the data such as eye movement, muscle movement, heartbeat, respiration, and everything else to produce the report. This takes hours of manpower and requires error-free conduction.
The score based reports produced compare themselves over normal outcomes like in a typical blood test report. This report is then sent to your doctor who then goes through it and makes an assessment. At this sleep center, our doctors are certified and experienced sleep specialists.
This doctor after assessment will find the exact cause of your sleep deprivation and will discuss with you in details the outcome of the result. The doctor will also recommend you the necessary measures you have to take to cure them alongside medications if required.
In a nutshell
The insurmountable benefits of sleep study have proven success in several cases over time. It will reveal all the secrets your brain holds in a straightforward and a considerably effortless way. A typical sleep study will provide you with all the answers that you have regarding your sleep deprivation and help you to overcome those.
Not only will your sleep become deeper but it will directly influence your entire life and health as well. Plus, with a healthy and happy mentality, you will also be able to make others around you happier.
Quoting Thomas Dekker here, “sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”