Do you have trouble sleeping at night, or staying awake at daytime? If so, the chances are high that you are suffering from a sleeping disorder.
Sleeping disorders are medical conditions in which a patient suffers from irregular sleeping patterns. It includes Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag, and Night Terrors.
While treating sleeping disorders, it is necessary to diagnose the root cause. For this reason, Behavioral therapy approaches are more effective and preferable when dealing with sleeping disorders.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is a non-invasive overnight medical procedure that allows doctors to monitor your sleep pattern to analyze the root cause of your disorder. For this test, you will be called to a sleep lab that is set up for overnight stays, usually in a hospital or sleep center.
What happens in a sleep study?
A sleep study is conducted in a medical room or lab, in which the conditions are tuned for inducing sleep.
You can schedule your appointment on the basis of your sleep timings. You can bring items that you need while sleeping at home and wear comfortable clothes.
Before you go to sleep, a technologist will place sensors, or electrodes, on specific head and body areas that will measure different activities on your body. The equipment is fixed so that you still have room and can sleep comfortably.
If you show symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, you will also be made to wear a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine during the second half of the night.
The specialist records small details of your sleep pattern by assessing the intake of oxygen, body movements, and stages of your sleep cycle.
What does a sleep study measure?
In a sleep study, a sleep specialist will be keeping track of your brain and body functions. Sleep studies monitor light and deep stages of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep.
Sleep studies measure airflow in the lungs during your sleep, level of oxygen in your blood, brain waves (EEG), breathing effort and rate, electrical activity of muscles, heart rate, and eye movement.
What are the different types of sleep studies?
There are four basic types of sleep studies.
1. Polysomnography (PSG)
This is an overnight sleep study in which your brain and body activities such as brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, blood pressure, body movements and more are measured.
PSGs is the most common and widely preferred type of sleep study for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, sleep-related movement disorders, circadian rhythm disorders, parasomnias, hypersomnia, insomnia, and more.
2. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
This is a sleep study that is performed during the day to measure excessive daytime sleepiness and other breathing related disruptions treatment. MSLT records how quickly you fall asleep during the test and the stages of sleep you enter.
During an MSLT, you are generally given five 20-minute nap opportunities, spaced 2 hours apart while a sleep specialist closely monitors your brain activity and eye movements. MSLT is often used to test for narcolepsy.
3. Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT)
This is a daytime sleep study that measures how alert you are during the day and your ability to stay awake. This is an additional test and performed after a PSG. It helps to determine if your sleepiness is a safety concern.
Results of an MWT can be critical if a person’s job involves public transportation. Often, employers will require the employee to have an MWT if they have a history of excessive daytime sleepiness or other related sleep disorders.
4. Home Sleep Test
For a home sleep test, the sleep study will be done by the patient themselves through devices handed out by the clinic with instructions. This equipment will usually include a small nasal cannula to measure airflow, a belt around the chest to measure breathing, another around the waist to measure breathing from the diaphragm, and a finger clip to measure blood oxygen flow.
Home testing is prescribed if the patient is
- Already under the care of a sleep specialist,
- Showing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea,
- Not suffering from multiple disorders, or
- Does not have other serious health problems, such as heart disease or lung disease.
What happens after a sleep study?
A sleep study ends with hundreds of pages of information about your sleep cycle. This information will help your doctor analyze the nature of your disorder, keeping in consideration your previous medical conditions and symptoms.
The specialist that conducted your sleep study will prepare a thorough report for interpreting all the results. The final report will recommend the best course of action for the treatment of your disorder.
How do I prepare for a sleep study?
If you are have an appointment for a sleep study, chances are that you already have a brief analogy of your sleeping disorder. It is beneficial to note down your symptoms and eating habits, which can be helpful for your doctor.
Whether the test is at a sleep lab or at home, do not take any sleep medicine and do not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages before the test.
Looking for a complete Sleep Study solution in Nepal?
Swacon International Hospital offers state-of-the-art sleep study diagnostics aimed at diagnosing sleep disorders.
Our sleep specialists employ the latest technology to monitor various brain activities and body systems while the patient sleeps to produce a result that is utilized to recommend proper treatment to the disorder.
Health for All