What is a Sleep Study?

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. If you have problems sleeping, or if you feel tired most days of the week, your healthcare provider may order a sleep study for you.

A sleep study can help diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and sleep-related movement disorder. A sleep study involves spending the night at our Sleep Lab where special monitors are used to observe and record your sleep. You will sleep in a private room, much like a hotel room. A family member or friend may come along, but may not stay overnight. Most people do not have trouble sleeping during the study; a mild sleeping pill is available if required.

The study monitors various parameters in your sleep:

  • Eye movements, brain waves and muscle activity
  • Heart rate
  • The level of oxygen in your blood
  • Breathing and snoring
  • Sudden leg or body movements
  • Body position

Signs of a sleep disorder

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Irritability at work or home
  • Obesity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Awakening suddenly, gasping for air or choking
  • Morning headaches
  • Falling asleep while driving or working
  • Dozing off while watching TV, reading, driving, or other daily activities
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Kicking or twitching movements while asleep
  • Restless limb movements

There are many treatment options available for those diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Successful treatment can prevent or reverse potential life-threatening complications and improve quality of life.

One of the most highly effective treatments for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) via a mask worn over the nose during sleep. Pressure from an air compressor sends air through the nasal passages and into the airway. This pressure holds the airway open and allows the person to breathe normally.

Oral devices are another option for the treatment of sleep apnea. These are designed to open the airway by bringing the jaw, tongue, and soft palate forward. Surgical procedures may help in removing excess tissue from the throat.

Benefits of proper treatment include:

  • Improved feeling of well-being
  • Improved work performance
  • Improved health
  • Improved memory
  • Decreased risks for heart problems, high blood pressure, and stroke

Dangers of an untreated sleep disorder:

  • High blood pressure
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Stroke
  • Impotence
  • Memory loss
  • Increased motor vehicle or work accident
  • Depression