If you are unable to sleep throughout the night and think that you have a sleep problem, your sleep doctor may suggest you sleep study.
A sleep study, also known as polysomnography, is a comprehensive diagnostic test that records specific body functions during sleep so that your doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis of your sleep problem. In addition, a sleep study can check if certain treatments you are currently trying are actually working for you.
In this article, we’ll talk about what happens in a sleep study and what sleep problems can be diagnosed from a sleep study.
What Happens in a Sleep Study?
A sleep study can be performed in a sleep lab or at home. During your sleep study, your specific body functions are measured with the help of certain equipment, including:
- Nasal-oral airflow sensor
- Pulse oximeter
- Snore microphone
- Video recorder
Sleep study equipment measures certain important body functions that can interfere with your sleep. Typically, your heart rate, breathing rate, airflow, eye movement, brain wave activity, and muscle movement are measured. The result of the study is then evaluated by your sleep specialist to give you a diagnosis.
Conditions a Sleep Study Can Diagnose
While sleep disorders are quite diverse, they can all be successfully diagnosed in a sleep study by a qualified sleep specialist using the specialized equipment listed above. The following are common sleep conditions that can be diagnosed during a sleep study.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep – sometimes hundreds of times throughout the night. Untreated sleep disorders may result in various health problems including stroke, hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, cardiomyopathy, and more.
This is a disorder of the nervous system in which the part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness does not function properly. A narcoleptic patient experiences excessive feelings of daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep during the day.
Parasomnia is a general term that refers to sleep disorders that involve unusual and undesirable physical experiences and events during sleep that disrupt sleep. A person with parasomnia might have abnormal movements, express emotions, talk, walk, or do unusual things during sleep.
In particular, REM sleep behavior disorder is a type of parasomnia in which a person experiences sudden body movements while having a vivid dream during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. In other words, this disorder prevents normal muscle paralysis during sleep, which enables the person to physically act out of his/her dreams, which can be dangerous to the individual or others.
Approximately 33% to 50% of adults experience insomnia symptoms. Individuals struggling with this sleep condition can’t sleep, get enough restful sleep, or stay asleep. Insomnia may be an ongoing longstanding problem, or it may come and go.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
This sleep disorder is characterized by repetitive involuntary limb movement during the night which results in sleep disruption. People with this disorder involuntarily flex and extend their arms and/or legs. Sometimes, this sleep disorder is also associated with restless leg syndrome.
Sleep Study Near Me in The Reno-Sparks, NV Area
If you’re looking for a highly trained sleep physician, contact us at MelioRem Sleep Clinic. Our board-certified and compassionate sleep physician, Dr. Innocent Ezenwa, will diagnose your sleep problem and help you achieve a healthy sleep pattern. We also offer treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, medications, oral devices, and behavioral therapy to resolve your specific problem.
To arrange an in-person or telehealth consultation with our sleep doctor, call us at (775) 557-4900 or request an appointment here. We look forward to helping you sleep better in no time!