What Are Sleep Studies?

What Are Sleep Studies?

Sleep studies are one of the most common diagnostic tools used by doctors who specialize in sleep disorders. If you have difficulty sleeping or find it difficult to remain alert during the day, you may need a Columbia, SC, sleep doctor to diagnose the problem and recommend an effective treatment plan. The doctors at Bogan Sleep Consultants are dedicated to educating the public on the importance of studying and improving sleep.

What are Sleep Studies?

Also known as polysomnography, a sleep study records information from your body as you sleep with the intention of identifying sleep abnormalities or disorders. The test may record any of the following information in real-time as you sleep: 

  • Brain waves 
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Breathing rate
  • Heart rate 
  • Eye movements
  • Leg movements 

Sleep studies require a trained medical professional to place sensors in specific places on your body. You will also wear one sensor on your finger and may have lightweight tubes connecting into your nose. The sensors feed information into a monitor, which a trained sleep doctor in Columbia, SC, can read.  

In order to deliver accurate results, you need to sleep during the test. Since most tests are conducted in a sleep study center or hospital, some people find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Scheduling the test around the time you normally sleep at home and avoiding caffeine the day before can help. 

Why are Sleep Studies Ordered?

Sleep studies are commonly ordered to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. It’s a sleep order characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. Sufferers snore loudly and have interruptions in breathing that are potentially life-threatening. Untreated sleep apnea typically leaves you exhausted during the day and can lower your quality of life over time.

Your doctor may also order a sleep study if you suffer from other types of disordered sleeping, including: 

  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy 
  • Nightmares
  • Sleepwalking 
  • Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep 

Types of Sleep Studies

The type of sleep study your doctor orders will depend on the type of sleep disorder suspected. The most basic option is the polysomnogram. When that test identifies sleep apnea, patients may go through a CPAP titration test to determine the best settings for treatment with a CPAP machine. 

Those tests are often completed in one night. A split-night PSG sleep study is another option that allows for diagnosis and treatment determination in one night.

A multiple sleep latency test is a slightly different test that focuses on how fast you fall asleep. It’s designed to determine your level of sleepiness during the day.

To learn more about sleep tests, call your Columbia, SC, sleep doctor at Bogan Sleep Consultants. Dial (803) 251-3093 to schedule your appointment.

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