A sleep study is a medical test that records what your body does while you are sleeping. The sleep study professionals at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group can perform sleep studies to find out what is causing your sleep problem.
If you have trouble sleeping, you are not alone. Snoring, insomnia, sleep deprivation, apnea, restless leg syndrome and other sleep problems affect 50 to 70 million people in the United States, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Sleepless nights turn into challenging days as you struggle with drowsiness and fatigue. Lack of sleep can cause a variety of problems, including poor performance at work or school and tension in relationships. Sleep problems can have serious consequences – drowsy driving leads to car accidents. Poor sleep can also affect your health, affect your hormone levels and mood and weight. Both quantity and quality are important when it comes to sleep and your emotional and physical health.
What affects sleep?
Noisy neighbors or an uncomfortable bed can cause you to miss a few hours of sleep now and then, but other factors, like stress or menopause, can have a long-term effect on sleep. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis can disrupt sleep.
Sleep has a close and complex relationship to mental health. Depression may cause sleep disorders, for example, and sleep disorders can contribute to depression.
About Sleep Studies
A sleep study records specific physical activities happening in your body as you sleep. There are three main types of sleep studies and each records different aspects of your sleep.
A polysomnogram measures several body functions as you sleep, including:
- Breathing effort and rate
- Air flow in and out of your lungs as you breathe
- The level of oxygen in your blood
- Brain waves (EEG)
- Eye movement
- Heart rate
- Body position
- Electrical activity of your muscles
Multiple Sleep Latency Test
A multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) measures the time it takes to go to sleep. It also determines when you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when most dreams occur. During normal REM sleep, only your eye and breathing muscles move.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
In some cases, it is more important to know how well you stay awake than knowing how quickly you fall asleep. Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) measures how well you stay awake. Our sleep specialists at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group perform MWT to see how well you can function and remain alert during quiet times of inactivity. MWT helps determine how well a person with a sleep disorder stays awake and if treatment for a sleep disorder is working.
A sleep study may be helpful if you:
- Have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
- Have had someone tell you that your breathing pauses or that you gasp for air when you sleep
- Have active legs at night
- Experience morning fatigue that prevents you from functioning well throughout the day
- Have experienced sleepiness or fatigue for more than two to three weeks