How Long Do You Need to Sleep for A Sleep Study?
It can be challenging for a healthcare practitioner to know whether you’re suffering from a sleep disorder. Therefore, the doctor may recommend a sleep study to monitor your sleeping patterns to determine what sleeping disorder you’re suffering from. However, you might wonder how long you need to sleep for a sleep study and what you should expect during such a procedure. Don’t worry; this piece will help answer these questions and more about sleep studies.
What Is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study, formally referred to as a polysomnogram, is a test that tracks and records how your different body systems function while asleep. This is possible using sensors connected to your body that track your body functions like the respiratory system, the brain, and the heart. The records taken from the sensors provide the doctor with a clear picture of the quality of your sleep.
What Can A Sleep Study Diagnose?
If the doctor recommends going for a sleep study near you, they’ll be able to diagnose certain health conditions. The healthcare practitioner recommends this diagnostic test when you experience symptoms that affect your sleep to determine the most appropriate treatment.
Some of the health conditions that a sleep study can help diagnose include:
- Certain types of epilepsy and seizures.
- Sleep paralysis.
- Sleep apnea.
- Periodic limb movement disorder.
- Sleep terrors.
Where Does A Sleep Study Take Place?
Sleep studies have become common, which is why there are many sleep centers or labs where the test can be performed. On the other hand, there is an at-home sleep study where the doctor recommends a breathing monitor which tracks your oxygen levels and breathing while asleep. Unfortunately, this breathing monitor is not as effective as the machines used for sleep studies in sleep clinics or labs.
What To Expect During A Sleep Study
During the day of the study, you should eat normally but with some exceptions:
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Don’t take your regular medication, as it may interfere with the tests.
- Don’t nap or sleep during the day.
- Avoid caffeine, whether tea, coffee, or soft drinks.
It is essential to note that a sleep study is performed at night. The study aims to get you to sleep for at least 7 hours for a successful diagnostic test. However, the doctor will still be able to carry out the diagnosis even without sleeping for 7 hours. If you struggle with sleeping, the doctor can give you some medication that will help. The small discs with wires attached to your body are utilized to monitor the following:
- Muscle tone.
- Blood oxygen levels.
- Heart rhythm.
- Leg movements.
- Breathing patterns.
- Sleep stages and brainwave activity.
You don’t have to worry about the sensors as they are painless. However, ensure you tell the healthcare provider of any sensitivity or allergy to the adhesives used to attach the sensors to your body.
At the beginning of the sleep study, the doctor will ask you to move your eyes, your legs and clench your teeth. Making these motions helps the technologist know if the sensors are working. You can watch TV or read until your regular bedtime. When it is almost sleeping time, the lights will be turned off, and a video camera that uses low light will help the technologist to see you from the monitor room.
Unfortunately, not many people sleep well during a sleep study. This is because of the unfamiliar environment and the sensors attached to the body. However, this does not affect the results. In the morning, the doctor will test and then remove the sensors from your body. A morning questionnaire is provided so that you can help provide details of your sleep quality and experience at the sleep clinic in Mesa, AZ.
What To Expect From Sleep Study
Your sleep healthcare provider will not give you any information until all the results have been reviewed. The report from a sleep study has a lot of data that includes:
Heart rate- normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute. If your heart rate exceeds or is less than this number, there is cause for concern.
Apnea- this report shows whether you experience sleep apnea while sleeping.
Sleep efficiency- it shows a calculation of the total number of minutes you slept divided by the total amount of time you were recorded while sleeping.
Oxygen desaturation index- this is the number of times your oxygen levels drop while sleeping. This helps identify sleep-disordered breathing.