Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief

     

Before Signing Up for a Sleep Study

A sleep study, or Polysomnogram, is an overnight recording of sleep pattern and behaviors associated with sleep. It is necessary to determine what stages of sleep an individual achieves and whether any sleep-related abnormalities are present. Several sensors are applied with glue or tape to the body's surface to record brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, body movements, heart rate, and breathing. Audiovisual recordings are made also to view later for study. None of the sensors used are painful or harmful. Even the oxygen content of the blood is measured painlessly with a simple clip on the index finger. There are connecting wires to the sensors, but you are free to get up and walk about as needed.

During the study, every attempt is made to let you have a normal night's sleep, well as normal as can be considering you are wired with wires and patches and plugs! Some people typically sleep better when away from home, while others sleep worse, but in either case this does not usually affect the results or the value of the sleep study. The sleep laboratory has a home like, bedroom like atmosphere with a television and a VCR or DVD player. You can wear your own bedclothes and you can bring your favorite pillow and anything else you normally sleep with. You can even shower in the morning. A trained sleep technologist generally explains all of the recording sensors during its application. He or she is stationed outside the bedroom all night to both monitor the sleep recording and make sure you are comfortable.

What to expect before the sleep study:

During the initial sleep consultation, a sleep specialist will interview you about your sleep habits. The specialist uses your personal and medical history to evaluate symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, daytime sleepiness, daytime fatigue, breathing problems in sleep, restless legs at night, and other troublesome behaviors. The sleep specialist may recommend the overnight sleep test, known as a Polysomnogram, to further evaluate your sleep habits.

In some cases, both diagnosis and treatment of a breathing problem can be accomplished in a single night. Just like during the polysomnogram, sensors that measure brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, breathing patterns and blood oxygen levels are applied to your skin using paste and tape. Once you are asleep in your private sleep room, the technologist carefully monitors the sleep diagnostic equipment for any sign of disrupted breathing during sleep. If interruptions in your breathing such as sleep apnea are seen, the technologist will apply CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) during the second half of the test and is the most effective and widely used method of treating sleep apnea. While you sleep, this system gently sends air into your airway through a specially designed mask that fits over your nose and mouth. This creates enough pressure to keep the airway open and produce immediate relief from sleep apnea and snoring. The CPAP device does not breathe for you. You can breathe at a normal rate. Most people find they get used to the mask after a few minutes and they have little difficulty sleeping with it on. The technologist is trained in using the CPAP apparatus and can answer most questions and concerns that may arise during your study. Feel free to ask him any questions you m ay have

Some people have problems with sleepiness in the day or fall asleep at inappropriate times. If you suffer from these symptoms your doctor may send you to the sleep disorders center for the MSLT, or Multiple Sleep Latency Test which consists of five scheduled “nap” recordings during which you will be allowed to sleep for a brief period. The MSLT is conducted on the day after an overnight polysomnogram (PSG). On the morning after your PSG some of the sensors will be removed and you’ll have the opportunity to change your clothes and freshen up before your first scheduled nap recording. The naps are scheduled two hours apart, with the first one occurring approximately two hours after you wake up in the morning. During the naps, the technologist will monitor your sleep/wake patterns. In between naps you will be free to move about, but you will have to stay awake. A television, VCR, and a DVD player, and some magazines are available in the sleep center and you may wish to bring along something else to do. Generally, the last nap is completed before 7:00 p.m.

These tests are usually pretty simple and can get you back to sleeping normal again.

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