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In order to diagnose sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome, patients undergo a polysomnogram aka a sleep study. Patients are required to stay overnight in a hospital or outpatient sleep clinic for this procedure. Electrodes placed on your head and body while you sleep keep track of your brain waves, breathing patterns, and physical movement. A hidden camera keeps an eye on you as you snooze as well.
Sleeping somewhere other than your own bed and knowing that you’re being observed and studied might be uncomfortable. That so, it’s understandable if you’re worried about what’s going to happen. You may feel more at ease if you have a better idea of why the study is necessary and what to expect.
Why Would You Need A Polysomnogram?
Your doctor may recommend a sleep study if you’re having problems falling asleep, waking up frequently, or snoring loudly. 1 Narcolepsy screening tests suggest a polysomnogram as a potential treatment option (excessive daytime sleepiness). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is the official name of this assessment.
In order to diagnose various types of sleep problems, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or other similar sleep disorders.
To get a better understanding of your sleep and what’s going on within, research can help. In order to track your brainwave activity and sleep stages, your heartbeat, muscle tone, limb movements, breathing patterns, oxygen supply, little metal discs with wires are implanted on your body. Once all the data has been gathered, a doctor analyzes and evaluates it.
How To Prepare
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the required preparations for a sleep study in advance of your test day.
In most sleep studies, participants spend the night in a sleep lab. In several instances, patients arrive for a polysomnogram between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m., and they typically leave between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. the following morning, depending on when they wake up. At least seven hours of sleep is desired, but this isn’t always attainable. Some institutions allow studies to be conducted during the day if you work nights.
Your normal food and daily routine should be followed as closely as feasible on the day of the research since this will help you achieve more accurate results. Keep in mind a few things, even if you won’t be checking into your sleep study until the later hours of the day.
- After lunch, avoid all forms of caffeine, including coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.
- Don’t have a drink or two at the end of the day. Any amount of alcohol can disrupt a good night’s sleep.
- Take the time to remove all style products from your hair before you go to bed. They may interfere with the recording of your slumber cycle.
- Don’t take a nap during the daytime.
- If you take regular medication, ensure sure your doctor or nurse practitioner is aware of your regimen. Stopping it for a while may be necessary.
During Your Study
Once the wires are linked up, you’ll be able to move the portable box out of bed with ease (for a trip to the bathroom, for example). CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks may be prescribed for those who use them at night.
Before you go to sleep, the technician will place a nasal cannula, a plastic tube that rests in your nose and measures how much air you breathe while you sleep. A thermistor, a pronged line that sits in the nostrils and detects temperature changes, is also commonly used in sleep clinics.
The technician will leave you alone to read, watch TV, or listen to music once everything is set up. It’s crucial to wait until your regular bedtime or when you’re feeling sleepy to go to sleep. When this occurs, be sure to notify your technician.
It is possible to have the technician help you get into bed and then hook up the monitor in another room using a wire box. A small infrared camera and a two-way loudspeaker are likely to be present in the room. This is how you’ll get help getting up in the middle of the night if you need it.
Before retiring to bed, the technician will run a test on the system. Your eyes will be open and closed, snoring will be heard as well as in and out, and you’ll be asked to wiggle your limbs and legs. However, if a wire fails or a cable breaks loose during the night, your expert will be there to fix it for you.
Tips For Sleep Study Anxiety
Be Sure To Ask Questions
Be sure to ask your technician questions if you need clarification about any part of the sleep test. Technicians are trained to realize that the more a patient knows, the more likely they will be to relax.
You May Be Able To Take Medications that Help You Sleep
Anxiety about difficulty sleeping is prevalent among those having a sleep study performed on them. Despite the cables and odd surroundings, most people fall asleep. It is quite uncommon for someone to be unable to get any rest at all.
It is quite uncommon for someone to be unable to get any rest at all. As a last resort, your doctor may prescribe you a drug that won’t disrupt any of the many tests. Insomnia medication Ambien is the most popular (zolpidem) that’s used in these cases. Don’t take this or any other drug without consulting your doctor first. Testing can be repeated if necessary to verify the validity of the results.
Relax And Savor the Solitude
You can put that worry to rest because you’ll have the entire sleep study room to yourself.
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