What is getting a sleep study like?
Over 70 sleeping problems have been discovered by sleep doctors as of today. However, the people who find help in sleep centers are usually suffering from common sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and insomnia. In the United States alone, approximately 40 million individuals have long term and chronic sleeping disorder. On top of that, about 20 million individuals report to have problems sleeping.
In order to perform a sleep study, one will have to find a sleep center and most of them can be found in hospitals. It is best to ask professional guidance from medical practitioners that can provide proper supervision when it comes to sleep study.
Most people are curious what will happen when performing a sleep study. Before the study happens, the medical practitioner in charge of the study will ask the patient for symptoms, common complaints regarding sleep, and general sleeping condition and quality of sleep. If a person sleeps at night, he or she will be asked to go to the sleep center during the night.
The patient will be provided with a room that looks just like a hotel room. This may sound eerie and uncomfortable to imagine, but the medical personnel will attach a machine on the patient’s head, chest, legs and fingers. The machine has wires that serve as sensors. This machine will tell the brain activity of the patient along with his or her blood oxygen levels, snoring, leg movements and heartbeat. People who suffer from sleep walking or even those that may have occasional seizures are provided with additional sensors since those activities happen in another part of the brain.
Sleep doctors will provide the patient sleep aids to help him or her sleep, but they are safe enough to not give the person discomfort or even the feeling of drowsiness the morning after. There are also instances when patients will choose to perform the study in two nights. This kind of arrangement is best for those who have sleep apnea which is said to occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage in a sleep. REM occurs several times in a sleep period and this pose danger to those with sleep apnea since it is a breathing disorder as well.
People who go through periods of tiredness and restlessness may also take the sleep study and will be tested for sleep latency. In this condition, the medical practitioner will allow the patient to take 20-minute naps in four sessions having 2 hour intervals just to test the amount of time it will take for the patient to fall asleep.
Sleep studies pose no harm or pain especially that there are no needles involved in the study. There are even small or zero risk factors for the study since it is just a behavioral observation. There may be people who have allergic reactions to the tapes used, however that can be remedied by using tapes of different material. After the sleep study session, one can go on normally in one’s daily activities. Most likely, doctors will ask the patient to return for follow-up observations.