Does any of this sound familiar?
- You have difficulty falling asleep most nights.
- Your legs feel restless while trying to sleep.
- You’re waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
- You often experience daytime sleepiness or a morning headache.
All of these are classic symptoms of a sleep disorder. In order to overcome it, your doctor or a family member might suggest that you visit a sleep clinic so that you can get a diagnosis and treatment to help you sleep.
How do you decide whether you really need to see a sleep specialist? Let’s talk about some of the key indicators that warrant seeing a sleep doctor, and where you can go in the Reno area to finally get a solution that works for you.
When Should You Visit a Sleep Clinic?
If you are constantly having trouble sleeping, you might want to try improving your sleep habits first by:
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool
- Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day
- Avoiding watching television, engaging in social media, or being on your phone in bed (there should be nothing to distract you or to make your brain think too hard before going to sleep)
- Exercising regularly, but not within two hours before bedtime
- Not eating within two hours before bedtime
If your sleep disorder symptoms persist despite making these modifications, speak with your primary care provider about visiting a sleep clinic. Note that your health insurance might only cover this service if your doctor has written you a referral. Contact your insurance company for clarification before you schedule a sleep clinic appointment.
What Happens at a Sleep Clinic?
Also known as a sleep center or sleep lab, a sleep clinic is a medical facility where medical specialists will first conduct a comprehensive sleep evaluation. If it is then determined that you have a sleep disorder, the sleep specialist may ask you to undergo what is called a “sleep study” in order to diagnose the sleep disorder precisely. This is done so that the most effective treatment can be prescribed.
Among the studies administered are the following tests:
- Polysomnogram (PSG): This is what is referred to as a “sleep study.” It usually involves staying overnight at the sleep clinic, where they will monitor you while you sleep in a bedroom-like environment. You will have small electrode patches placed on several spots on your body, attached via a simple adhesive,to record certain measurements – such as brain waves, eye movements, snoring, breathing, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels –while you sleep. As such, a polysomnogram can help diagnose such things as sleep-related breathing disorders, narcolepsy, nighttime seizures, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, and other issues that can be treated.
- Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): An MSLT is conducted during the day, usually while you’re napping. This helps to determine how sleepy you are by measuring how quickly you fall asleep for the nap. Its purpose is to help diagnose narcolepsy, hypersomnia, and any other disorders that involve excessive sleepiness.
- Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT): Similar to an MSLT, an MWT is conducted during the daytime– but over multiple testing periods. Rather than measuring how quickly you fall asleep for a nap, an MWT measures how well you can stay awake during the day. It is usually administered to those who are receiving treatment for a diagnosed sleep disorder, to help determine the effectiveness of their medication.
A sleep clinic staff may also arrange for at-home sleep studies, rather than studies conducted in the sleep lab.
Since there are a wide variety of sleep disorders, sleep clinics offer many different treatments and types of evaluations. Your sleep doctor may ask you to maintain a sleep diary, order blood tests for specific lab studies, screen for other underlying health and psychiatric disorders, or prescribe medication and/or therapy.
Sleep Services in Reno and Sparks, Nevada
Here at the MelioREM Sleep Clinic, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest-quality care in the field of sleep medicine. We offer comprehensive treatment services for all sleep disorders, including:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Periodic limb movement disorder(PLMD)
- Circadian-rhythm sleep disorders
- Upper-airway resistance syndrome (UARS)
To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, call us today at (775) 557-4900 or fill out our contact form online now. We also offer convenient telemedicine sleep services to all our Nevada patients. We look forward to helping you finally get a good night’s sleep every night!