Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, but if that happens just about every night, this could be the sign of a sleep disorder. Eventually, lack of sleep will disrupt your quality of life.
A sleep disorder may be present if you have trouble going to sleep, staying asleep, sleeping at all, trouble waking up or feeling tired all day. Adults and children need between 7-9 hours of sleep. When sleep is disrupted on a regular basis, other physical problems can occur.
Signs that you may have a sleep disorder
- Have trouble going to sleep, staying asleep, not being able to sleep at all or trouble waking up
- Loud snoring during sleep
- Breathing stops during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Feeling sleepy all day
If you have one or more of these symptoms your Primary Care Physician may recommend a sleep study be done.
Types of sleep disorders
- Sleep Apnea: obstructive or central-stop breathing occasionally during sleep
- Insomnia: difficulty in falling or staying asleep
- Narcolepsy: the brain is sending incorrect signals to your body and you can’t sleep
There may be other types of disorders that can be diagnosed with a sleep study.
Types of sleep studies
Sleep studies are done in a facility where your sleep can be monitored by specialists. These tests are painless, but do require time. Some tests are done at night and some during the day.
Basic plysomnography: records breathing, body movements, brain activity and eye movement during sleep.
CPAP: a mask is placed over your nose that allows slightly pressured air to flow into your lungs, preventing the airways from narrowing or closing to allow you to breathe normally. This test is done to see if using the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy will aid in your sleep.
Split Night Study: This combines the Basic plysomnography and the CPAP study. Half the night will be one and the other half will switch to the other.
Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT): You are monitored throughout the day to see how sleepy you are. This is most often used to determine if you have narcolepsy.
Maintenance of Wakefulness test (MWT): monitors your ability to stay away in a situation that could easily make you sleepy.
How to prepare for your sleep study and what to expect
What do I bring to the sleep study?
- If an overnight study is conducted, you will need loose fitting sleepwear, if a daytime study you will need loose fitting comfy clothes.
- Any medication you need to take.
- Personal toiletry items and a change of clothes for the next day.
- Something to occupy your time while you wait. Reading material or work is good to have while waiting for the test to start. Most sleep centers have TV’s available.
How do I prepare for the sleep study?
- Eat normally the day of the study.
- Do not have any type of caffeine or alcohol within 24 hours of the study.
- Check with your Primary Care Physician to see if you stop any medication before having the sleep study.
- Go to sleep as you normally do the night before the test. DO NOT take any naps the day of the sleep study.
- Shower and wash your hair before coming to the study.
- DO NOT use make-up, lotions, powders, perfume, cologne or aftershave. Do not use hair products as these can interfere with accurate test results.
The Doctor may modify this list depending on the type of study to be done.
What will my sleep study entail?
You will be greeted by one the sleep technicians and taken to a special room, that is usually private. You will change into your test attire. The technician will place small electrodes on different parts of your body. These are small discs that monitor and measure various things; brain waves, heart rate and rhythm, eye movement, muscle movement, snoring and breathing. Needles are NOT used. Your oxygen, carbon dioxide and air flow through your nose and mouth are also tested.
Your sleep and breathing are monitored during the whole study. You will be asked to call the technician if you need to get up for any reason. Do not try to get out of bed without help.
When the study is complete you will be awakened by the technician. You will then be able to go home.
How do I find out the results?
A sleep study specialist will review your tests and give a report to your Primary Healthcare Physician. You need to schedule a follow-up visit with him/her. The Doctor will discuss the results and any treatment recommendations with you.Our Sleep Centers