What is Sleep Study, Exactly?
Below is an inside look at who is eligible and what you can expect and what treatments and conditions a sleep study could provide.
There’s a good chance that if you’ve ever had difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep, you’ve probably consulted Dr. Google about your sleeping habits.
Maybe you’ve asked the web how normal it is to keep getting up around 3 a.m. in the middle of the night for no reason however, you could fall asleep perfectly.
Perhaps you’ve wondered if others toss and turn the same way as you do or if there’s something medically abnormal with your sleep patterns.
Perhaps you’ve been in the blurry haze of a late-night web deeper dive come upon the recommendation to be exhausted in a night-time sleeping facility and thought whether these facilities? What exactly happens if you visit one? Are they frightening? Are they creepy? Do you find it disturbing to know that someone is watching you as you’re sleeping? Do they offer the best solution for you?
There are 120 types of sleep-wake disorder, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also notes that one-third of Trusted Source for U.S. adults usually get less sleep than what is suggested.
In this regard, we sat down with three leading sleep experts across the nation to discover all you must know about sleeping facilities. This is your ultimate guide to a good night’s sleep.
What are the criteria for an overnight sleep study?
There are some actions you must take before going to a sleeping facility, or if your physician even suggests that you go to one.
Recognizing that you suffer from an issue with sleep that can be treated with medical attention will be the initial step. The doctors we talked to said that the best way to figure that out is to analyze your day-to-day activities How are you affected by the previous night’s rest throughout the day?
“If you’re experiencing sleep problems and it does not affect your activities during the day Then it’s likely okay,” says Hussam Al-Sharif, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Wisconsin.
“But when your sleep issues begin to impact on your relationships, work or activities, as well as your overall quality of life it’s the time to consider seeking help to determine what’s wrong.”
When you realize that you may have issues with sleep then the following step would be to consult your primary physician, who will send you to a specialist in sleep (also an ophthalmologist). The expert will conduct a number of general questions to help determine the services you might require, or might not require.
“We take a look at a myriad of variables, starting with the medical history of a patient and work experience (especially when they work nights shifts) as well as their sleeping habits (bedtime and wake-up time, sleeping environment, and anything that their spouses have shared with them about their sleeping habits),” explains Al-Sharif.
Then, they transition into your daily routines:
- How tired do you feel in the day?
- Does this affect your performance at work, and how?
Finally, sleep experts collect what they call objective information:
- Are you likely to drift off to sleep when you’re watching or reading?
- How much caffeine and alcohol do you consume during the day?
- Do you take any prescription medications or supplements that affect sleeping?
“Once we’ve gathered all the information we need then we can determine if their difficulty can be resolved through altering their sleeping habits [i.e. healthy sleeping habits] or if they require additional testing.” Al-Sharif continues.
If you suffer from insomnia, for instance, it is unlikely that you require additional sleep tests, since it’s obvious that you’re not sleeping therefore, your physician may recommend you to an insomnia doctor (a sleep specialist with a specialization in psychology) who will help determine what’s the cause of your insomnia.
If your sleep expert determines that you’d benefit from a study of your sleep which is also known as the study of your sleep, they’ll suggest either at-home studies or an in-lab study in the sleep center.
(FYI sleep facilities were previously known as sleep clinics or sleep centers However, now they’re called facilities, in accordance with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.)
In most cases, they’ll suggest an at-home test if they think that you suffer from sleep apnea. an extremely common condition that can affect your breathing which is also known as restless leg syndrome. It’s a condition that triggers an uncontrollable desire to walk your legs.
Each of the conditions can be capable of being detected by an at-home test, therefore the question is why you should conduct an in-lab test when you don’t have to.
The test at home is quite straightforward. It’s basically a test that monitors your oxygen levels and respiratory levels using various components:
- two belts that are wrapped around your abdomen and chest to track movements that are associated with breathing
- A small gadget called a pulse-oximeter is worn onto your finger to determine the amount of oxygen in the blood of your
- A tiny tube is referred to as the breathing sensor, which is placed through your nostrils and behind your ears to examine your breathing patterns
Unfortunately, the oximeter numbers tend to be less accurate for Black people as they are harder to determine. However, health professionals and activists are striving to change the Trusted Source.
“It’s an easy system and patients learn the procedure quickly It’s simple: Turn the device in the night before, switch it off in the early morning and bring them back into the sleeping center” says Michael Friedman, MD, FACS Medical Director of Chicago ENT.
If the test results were not valid due to technical problems that took place over the course of a few hours (dislodgement of the probe is the most significant issue in this case) it could be required to repeat the test over again.
If your home test revealed that sleep apnea was serious and you noticed an alarming drop in oxygen levels over your sleep, then you might be required to undergo an in-lab examination. This will allow you to figure out the proper apparatus for positive pressure that has to be utilized.
Pack your pajamas
If your physician suggests that to attend an overnight sleep study at the lab Do not worry about it It’s not as difficult as you might imagine.
“In the past, tests for sleeping were required to be performed in a bed in hospitals, therefore it was basically an exercise in futility since nobody would want to be in an institution. However, modern sleep labs aren’t like that -They’re more comfortable,” Friedman says.
Actually, the author compares them with rooms in hotels by pointing out their comfortable bed, absence of visual or noise, and the dark and serene ambiance that comes with shades that block out light. There’s usually a bathroom in case you have to go to bed in the evening, too.
Many sleep labs also offer simple drinks and snacks like peanut butter, crackers as well as bottled water, and non-caffeinated soft beverages to aid in falling sleep. There are televisions and cameras within the room and technicians can monitor you via footage throughout the night.
However, for those who are able to hear this and are frightened Remember that they’re not watching your bedroom through windows or any other means that you can be able to see them while you’re in the bed.
There aren’t fancy scent therapy or white noise stations in a sleep lab you are welcome to use your own sleep devices or machines if you’d like. In general, anything you’re required to do in order to sleep is acceptable and won’t interrupt your research.
Now, what happens in this entire procedure?
Once you’ve arrived in the sleep lab the sleep specialist on the premises will provide you with information on the next steps and what to anticipate from this procedure. The majority of the time, the sleep tech is the person in the lab who gathers the data, and the sleep specialist will analyze the results after the actual.
After the explanation by your technician ask you to change into sleeping clothes (most people wear scrubs or PJs) Then, they’ll apply 12-14 patches referred to as electrodes on different areas of your body.
- your chest to track your cardiac activity
- your legs to watch your leg movements
- your forehead and scalp to check the activity of your brainwaves
These electrodes are connected by wires that connect to a control box which is similar to an iPhone and is placed on one of the sides of scrubs. This means that, if you do get up you can unplug the control box so that you do not have to walk around along with it, but the rest of your equipment stays in the same place.
A few technicians might have you set up with a belt around your abs and chest and a tube placed underneath your nose to monitor the flow of air according to the situation.
After you’ve got all set… you’re ready for time to go to bed!
The techs usually begin studying around the time you are going to bed, so the expectation is that you will fall asleep the same way as you do at home. The majority of patients will play a game on television to help them sleep.
Technicians also suggest that you rest in the position that you’re in at home, but should they observe that you’re lying on your back, and not sleeping in this position, they’ll request to rest on your side instead since sleep apnea can be typically worse when you’re facing upwards.
“So yes it’s not the best to sleep due to all of the cables however, you are able to rotate,” Friedman adds. Friedman. “It’s somewhat restricted, but not terribly bad.”
And, the most important thing to remember is that the study won’t last throughout the night. If you get to sleep, the scientists will only require 3-4 hours to determine your sleep. Not the whole 8 hours although you can rest for as long as you’d like.
“Most patients will sleep for between 5 and seven hours and then leave at a very early time in the day around 6 a.m. So, they are able to sleep at home in the event that they weren’t capable of getting a complete night’s sleep during the study,” explains Romulo Cordero Director of the Sleep Center and Neurodiagnostics at Crystal Run Healthcare, a health center that has locations across New York.
In the event that you suffer from stage fright or just can’t get a good night’s sleep during your entire sleep research the doctor will require you to return to another study — this time using aid to sleep.
“There’s an extremely well-known phenomenon known as the “First Night Effect” in which people may experience a decrease in the amount of sleep they get when in a new setting therefore if this happens in the research it will be necessary to replicate it,” explains Al-Sharif.
Looking for the answers
If everything goes as planned the doctor will be able to diagnose the condition on your sleep studies and will be more on the way to a treatment program.
As we’ve already said that it is possible to find 120 different sleep conditions that a study of sleep can detect, but there are five main ones to be aware of, according to Cordero:
It’s an airway disorder and is extremely widespread: According to estimates, 26,06% of Americans between the ages of 30 to 70 have it. The symptoms include:
- you’re gasping for air or stopping breathing during sleep
- Always feeling exhausted
- having trouble watching television because you are asleep in a flash
There are two types of OSA: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in which the airway narrows as a result of an obstruction behind your tongue and the less frequent central sleep apnea (CSA) which occurs when the brain effectively stops breathing.
The treatment is done by the use of the CPAP device, which can provide fresh air that is oxygenated to your airways of yours.
You’ve probably heard about the symptoms it’s when you are unable to rest. It is estimated that around 30 percent of the Trusted source of U.S. adults are diagnosed with insomnia. It may be persistent or temporary. The treatment is based on the cause.
“We must dig deep and determine what’s causing the symptoms?” says Cordero. In most cases, it’s an anxiety-related issue or psychological problem and the treatment is targeted towards this disorder, but it could be many other reasons such as bad sleep hygiene or medical conditions.
If all else fails, doctors may prescribe chronic insomniacs with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or pharmacotherapy (medications/hypnotics).
Restless leg syndrome
More than 3 million Trusted Source people living in the United States may experience restless leg syndrome which is the condition where you need to move your legs in the process of going to sleep. It is characterized by a numb sensation in the legs which makes you shake them to relieve the pain. The treatment is treatment.
REM sleep behavior disorder
This rare condition which affects only 1% percent of Trusted Source adult patients, happens the case when you’re awake during the period of REM (dream state) sleep when you shouldn’t. This could be a sign of the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. In this case, it is recommended that a neuro specialist assists in the treatment.
The disorder is affecting between 135,000 and 200,000 people according to Trusted Source in the United States. It’s characterized by a sudden onset of sleep and frequently in inappropriate ways, such as when you are having a conversation or meeting at work. This is why people who suffer from it are typically not permitted to drive. The treatment is a mixture of prescription naps and drugs.
The other type of study on sleep
There are studies on sleep that researchers examine your sleeping habits at a clinic for a night and release their findings.
In this type of study sleep researchers typically ask for participants in newspaper ads as well as TV commercials through word of mouth and then take them into a lab specifically to test. While the sleep studies performed to monitor your health are generally standard, however, those for study purposes differ significantly.
They’re typically held in the same room together with snacks and wires however, there is also an exchange of money. Cordero claims to have been told that volunteers earn anything from $20 to $3000 just for taking part.
A lot of research studies are designed to determine how normal sleep appears in terms of the stages as well as the length of the sleep.
Other studies might examine the impact of sleep on hormones or the changes in the body that occur when the night (to the heart rate or blood pressure, for example) or study sleep-related issues, such as those mentioned above to better be able to better understand them.
Other studies may investigate the effect of specific interventions that affect sleep, according to Al-Sharif. for instance, the effects of working shifts on sleep, the effects of hypnotics and drugs, and even sleeping habits for certain groups.
Whichever type of study you’re undertaking It’s vital to keep in mind that you’re working to benefit a cause that’s good that is better sleep and consequently healthier overall health for everyone.
In the end, the act of taking action can lead to answers. And answers frequently lead to new treatments and new methods resulting in better sleep and improved overall mental health.