Should you consider a sleep study?
Getting a proper night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health and well-being. But for many people, sleeping longer doesn’t necessarily translate into feeling rested in the morning.
In addition to getting the right amount of sleep (7+ hours for adults), it’s important that you’re getting the optimal sleep quality. If you’re constantly feeling tired during the day, no matter how early you go to bed, then it could be a sign of underlying sleep disorders.
A sleep study can help to identify such disorders and provide a treatment plan to finally get you the deep, restful sleep you need.
Signs you may need a sleep study
If you feel you’re getting the right amount of sleep each night but still feeling tired, or you’re aware of issues that are preventing you from sleeping well, then it may be time to consider a sleep study.
Here are common reasons to consider a study:
- You often feel sleepy during the day, regardless of how much sleep you get.
- You’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, such as heavy snoring, abrupt gasping during the night or pauses in breathing observed by a loved one.
- You’re having difficulty concentrating during the day due to exhaustion.
- You struggle to stay alert, particularly while driving or during repetitive tasks.
- Your tiredness is raising safety issues or otherwise affecting your quality of life.
- You’re sleeping excessively and still feel tired.
- You have other existing medical conditions that may increase your risk of a sleep disorder.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is a specialized, overnight examination in which board-certified sleep specialists examine the quality of your sleep.
In-lab sleep studies are performed in certified sleep centers, medical offices or hospitals. A typical study involves the use of EEG monitors, which monitor your sleep stages and REM cycles. Your eye movements, oxygen levels, breathing and heart rates are also monitored to identify disruptions and signs of common sleep disorders.
What sleep disorders should I be aware of?
There are a wide variety of conditions that can affect the quality of your sleep. A common disorder is sleep apnea, which affects your ability to breath during sleep. But there are actually many different forms of sleep apnea, as well as other disorders that can be identified with a sleep study.
- Sleep apnea with insomnia (lack of sleep)
- Sleep apnea with hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
- Mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea
- Obstructive or non-obstructive sleep apnea
- Positional or non-positional sleep apnea
- Lone or comorbid sleep
- Non-sleep disorder
Before your overnight sleep study
Prior to a sleep study, your physician and/or sleep specialists will conduct an initial consultation to understand the symptoms you’re experiencing. They will also assess your medical history, medications, family history and other factors, which can often reveal the potential causes of your symptoms before the overnight study is conducted.
If you have questions or concerns about the quality of your sleep, or would like more information on sleep studies, contact Maryland Primary Care at 301-277-3555 and we’ll be happy to assist you.