Many people think that sleep is a luxury, but not only is it vital to good health, it can also stave off diseases. According to the Centers For Disease Control, one out of three Americans do not get adequate amounts of sleep. For some, not getting enough sleep is merely an annoyance, but for others it is more.
There are many different sleep disorders, including insomnia and narcolepsy, that affect daily life. For those suffering from sleep disorders, sleep studies and therapy may bring relief.
What Is A Sleep Study?
A sleep study measures your body’s activity while sleeping. They are often done to diagnose sleep disorders. Generally, sleep studies begin around 11:00 at night, with approximately an hour for set up beforehand, and end around 5:30 A.M. Studies can be performed at home, but more often they take place in a room at a sleep clinic. Despite the fact that there are electrodes attached to you, you will be free to move around the bed. Results are ready about five business days later.
What Are The Different Types Of Sleep Studies?
There are many different types of studies that can be performed, but the gold standard is polysomnography. During this test, electrodes will be placed on your head, legs, and chest to monitor movement, belts around your chest to measure breathing, a nose cannula inserted to measure airflow, and a pulse oximeter to measure heart rate. A microphone will also be nearby to record any snoring. This study is completed without the use of PAP, or Positive Airway Pressure therapy, but a similar study, called Split Polysomnography, initiates PAP halfway through the study. The latter is the most commonly ordered study and is often performed to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Once a patient has qualified for PAP sleep therapy, Ttration Polysomnography will be performed, where PAP will be used continuously during the study to determine the level of PAP needed.
Multiple Sleep Latency Testing is a daytime sleep study used to diagnose narcolepsy or hypersomnia. It is performed immediately after a night of Titration Polysomnography. The test gives five opportunities for sleep and measures how easily a person is able to fall asleep during the day.
A less expensive version of these tests is the Home Sleep Apnea Test, which is given when it has already been determined that a patient most likely has sleep apnea. The HSAT device measures for the same things as Polysomnography, but can only provide enough data for sleep apnea and not sleep duration and type or body movements. A sleep clinic study may be necessary following the HSAT.
Another sleep study that measures awakefulness versus sleep difficulties is the Maintenance Of Wakefulness Test. This test is often given to those who need to prove the ability to stay awake under certain conditions, such as pilots. Similar to the Polysomnography, electrodes are attached to measure activity.
Following a sleep study, treatments, also known as sleep therapy will be given. For most patients this comes in the form of a CPAP machine. These machines blow pressurized air into the airway so that the throat cannot collapse, as it does in a person with sleep apnea, allowing for uninterrupted sleep.
A breakthrough new therapy called Inspire Therapy, an implanted device, is helping those who cannot use the CPAP machine. It measures airway pressure and sends a response to the hypoglossal nerve, which controls tongue movement, and allows for the airway to remain open. The device is remote-controlled.
What Are The Benefits?
More than likely, a sleep study is being performed because the patient is experiencing less-than-adequate amounts of sleep. When a study is performed, a doctor can diagnose the issue and give treatment. This will result in a better night’s sleep. And that is the best benefit anyone could ask for.
Valley Sleep Center is a sleep study and sleep therapy clinic that diagnoses and treats sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, narcolepsy, insomnia, and other sleep disturbances for patients in the Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Chandler, Arizona areas.