When Is a Sleep Study Necessary and How Does It Work Exactly?

A sleep study usually becomes necessary when a person observes that they are suffering from common sleep disorder like symptoms and they want to receive a proper diagnosis for their mysterious symptoms.  Sleep tests measure vital statistics — things like breathing, heart rate, possible sleep disturbances, brain waves and more, so that accurate data may be compiled and a definitive conclusion may be determined.

sleep is necessary

There are a few very specific sleep study tests and then there are also broader tests which attempt to measure all the many complex facets of sleep.  Many people are likely aware that sleep studies are often under gone in order to diagnose what’s called a sleep apnea (intermittent stoppage of breathing), but there are also may be other specific tests which are performed to test for other sleep disorders, such as Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT).

The MSLT tests a person’s ability or lack thereof to fall asleep quickly, as not being able to fall asleep quickly after lying down is one of the main characteristics of insomnia.  The MWT test determines if the patient stays asleep, or stays in the deeper stages of sleep, another very important sleep study.

The Sleep Test Center Experience – A Sleep Study Outside The Home

Many people who choose to participate in a sleep study may wonder to themselves — what the experience will be like?

Well, thankfully the experience is usually a breeze and quite painless, at home sleep study centers the atmosphere is often times like that of your home or a nice hotel, everything is set up so that you’ll feel comfortable and sleep as normally as you would at home in your own bed.

It’s a good idea to bring something to read, especially, of course, if you read just before bed, everything should be as close to sleeping in your home as is humanly possible.  Definitely do not bring any valuables to the test center, just in case, the center liability will likely not cover damage or theft of your personal items, even though they would probably be safe.

It’s certainly a good idea to take a shower and cleanup before arriving at the sleep study; you’ll want to be clean as good folks will be attaching sensors and electrodes all over your body.  Being extra clean is nice for you and for them.

Be sure to remember to turn off your cell phone, as the disturbance of a ringing phone could very well ruin the results of the test, the workers at the sleep study center will likely remind you if you forget.

During the sleep study (or polysomnogram, PSG) sensors attached to your head, chest, and legs will monitor things like your brain waves, your eye movement (REM), any possible leg movement, heart rate, snoring, and overall breathing patterns.  Through measuring these variables these sleep study experts can pinpoint if you have a sleep disorder or not, and also they will be able to determine what type of disorder it is, so that you can get the best possible treatment and make a full recovery.

The Portable Diagnostic Recorder

sleeping test

Because it’s known that many people will not participate in sleep studies in a hospital environment for whatever reason there have been made available what are called portable diagnostic recorders, these devices allow for full or partial sleep studies to be done in the privacy of a person’s home.

Many people just feel more comfortable doing these types of tests at home, and also the results will not be negatively affected by changes in the environment.  Lastly, a person may monitor their own health indefinitely in their own home without outside aid, and a lot of people like that flexibility.  However, a sleep study done by experts is generally recommended, at least initially, in order to accurately probe for specific sleep disorders.

The Importance of Sleep Study Testing For Our Health

Sleep disorders affect just about every area of a person’s life (mental, physical, spiritual), they are nothing to be trivialized, in fact they can be quite devastating when severe.  The simple truth is that many people are walking around with undiagnosed sleep apnea and other various debilitating sleep disorders, and participation in a simple sleep study can make a huge impact for so many and on society at large as well.

From incredible energy, to much clearer thinking, to greatly reducing the risks of chronic health problems (diabetes, stroke), diagnosing sleep disorders with sleep study testing and prescribing proper treatment is of the utmost importance.