Do You Need a Sleep Study?
Do you remember when you were a child, and sleep just came naturally? You may have not even woken up when your mom or dad carried you from a car ride home into your bed. As we age, sleep—at least “good” sleep—can become elusive.
If lack of sleep is disrupting your daily life, it may be time to undergo a sleep study.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
One of the most common symptoms of poor sleep is daytime fatigue. This could be due to snoring, which may indicate sleep apnea, or excessive movement from something like restless leg syndrome. Sometimes, people have trouble falling or staying asleep without a clear cause.
“There are various reasons why people might have poor or disruptive sleep that would indicate a need for a sleep study,” states Dorothy (Dottie) Love, a registered polysomnographic technologist at Stoughton Health Sleep Disorders Center.
While the opening story is often true, children can have problems with sleep. Stoughton offers sleep studies for pediatric patients starting at two years old and all the way up to seniors. In fact, Love recalls a patient she assisted that was 98 years old.
Sleep medicine has progressed rapidly over the last decade. A sleep study monitors brain activity, patient stages of sleep, how much sleep they’re getting, and any disruptions.
“We also monitor their respiratory activity, not only their airflow, but how hard it is for them to get a breath in, their oxygen levels, and what is called CO2 or their exhaled gas,” notes Love. “We assess movement at night and eye movement so we can determine when they go into dream sleep.”
Tips to Prepare for Your Sleep Study
Love recommends a few tips sleep study participants can implement to make the most of their study. For example, it’s advised to limit fluid intake in the afternoon prior to the study, as well as intense exercise. It’s preferred for participants to refrain from taking sleep-aid medications unless indicated.
With children, Love suggests avoiding electronics exposure two hours prior to beginning the sleep study. They may benefit from a parent or caregiver reading a book or snuggling with the child to help them relax.
There are times when a patient may need to come back for an additional night. “If we have someone who is unable to get to sleep or we don’t get enough information during the recording, we will have them come back. Sometimes, we do two-night studies, one is a diagnostic that tells us what the problem is. Then the second is a treatment study so we can implement a specific treatment the doctor orders,” shares Love.
Don’t Let Sleepless Nights Keep You From Living Your Best Life
No one should be without restful sleep. Proper sleep is so essential to overall health. Love urges anyone who is not getting restful sleep, or suffering from daily fatigue, to undergo a sleep study. To have a sleep consult to determine if you need to undergo a sleep study, please call the Sleep Disorders Center at (608) 873-2210.