Are you having trouble falling asleep? Have you ever been told you snore? Both the quality and quantity of sleep are important to your overall wellness. Recent research shows that the way we’ve been taught about sleep may not be universal to every person. Eight hours might be enough for some, but too much or too little for others. Recently, several sleep articles have gone viral through social media proving that sleep issues affect a significant portion of the population: the 4-7-8 technique, modern day sleep issues, and the effects of a lack of sleep on the brain. Stress (read Ibwell.com Stress blog) can have an effect on your sleep patterns, and the lack of sleep can cause stress, triggering a sleep-stress-cycle that can be hard to break without professional help.
So what does this professional help look like? A sleep study! Physicians can refer patients to a properly licensed sleep study clinic when the quality of their sleep needs assessment. Signs that may prompt this referral include snoring, witnessed apnea, tiredness after sleep, high blood pressure, and memory or concentration issues. Your appointment at the sleep study clinic is scheduled during your normal sleep time, which is night time in most cases, although daytime appointments can be scheduled for patients who have second or third shift employment.
At the sleep study appointment, patients are hooked up to machines that monitor brain waves, eye movement, muscle (including heart rhythms) movement, breathing patterns, sleep latency, duration, and efficiency, and the amount of oxygen in the blood. Patients are monitored by licensed sleep technicians over a seven to eight hour period and the data is compiled and sent to the ordering physician. Sleep studies can vary based on the patient’s prescription.
After the ordering physician gets the sleep study results, different treatment options may be implemented based on the diagnosis of sleep-related breathing or seizure disorders, sleep-related limb movement disorders, or other sleep-related disorders like narcolepsy. A CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine may be prescribed to correct sleep apnea.