Tiredness is something that everyone deals with at some point in their life- but did you know that sometimes you aren’t “just tired.” In some cases, an underlying issue may be causing you to not get enough sleep at night. This results in your tiredness. Fortunately, if you are not getting enough sleep at night, a sleep study can help determine if an underlying issue is causing your loss of sleep.
What is a Sleep Study?
The most common sleep studies are overnight studies, also referred to as polysomnograms. As you sleep, you are monitored by a sleep technician. You will also wear various electrodes and sensors during this time. While this may make you a little uncomfortable, wearing these devices is important because it allows your brain waves, breathing, leg movements, and heart rate to be monitored as you sleep. This is usually performed to address a certain issue, usually a sleep disorder. Other sleep studies include the maintenance of wakefulness test that measures how awake you are during normal awake times and the multiple sleep latency test, which determines how long it takes you to fall asleep and when you enter REM sleep if you enter it at all.
Common Issues Addressed by Sleep Studies
There are a number of issues that can be addressed by sleep studies, all of them with the ability to affect how well you sleep. Some of them are more dangerous than others (such as sleep apnea, which makes you stop breathing as you sleep). Here is a list of the different issues that a sleep study may address:
? Sleep Apnea- During a sleep apnea episode, an adult may quit breathing for ten seconds or even longer while they are sleeping.
? Excessive Snoring- Believe it or not, this is a real medical condition. After a sleep study, a doctor may be able to suggest a course of treatment (other than ear plugs for your partner!)
? Narcolepsy- This illness involves exhaustion because of overwhelming daytime tiredness. This is a marker for the illness and the affected person often falls asleep when they should be awake, regardless of the sleep they got the night before.
? Nighttime Behaviors- Sleep studies can monitor and help explain undesirable nighttime behaviors like bed-wetting, night terrors, or sleepwalking.
? Insomnia- Another frequent issue is insomnia, which causes a person to have trouble sleeping when it is time to sleep. This can be caused by physical discomfort, hunger, depression, stress, or any number of other problems.
? Shift Work Sleep Disorder- This is caused by working in different shifts. It is very common if you do rotating shifts or work at night.
? Periodic Limb Movement Disorder- An illness characterized by repeated twitching in the limbs or feet as you slumber.
? Restless Leg Syndrome- A condition where sensations in the legs make it uncomfortable, or even painful to lie down.
Symptoms that May Indicate a Sleep Study Could Benefit You
There are a number of things that may indicate that a sleep study could benefit you. Some of these symptoms you will notice while others are more likely to be noticed by friends, family members, or your significant other. These symptoms include:
? Overwhelming exhaustion at inappropriate times during the day
? Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
? Waking up somewhere different than you went to sleep
? Excessive snoring
? Frequent bed-wetting
? Discomfort or pain in the legs
? Unexplained movement of the limbs or feet
If you think a sleep study could benefit you, speak with your physician today. They may not refer you to a sleep study right away and may recommend other ways, at first, to try and overcome your restless to no sleep. These can include, prescribed drugs, a new mattress, such as the ones from lull, sleeping alone, etc.
Lautaro Martinez, a freelance writer and proressional student, enjoys sharing tips and insight into a good night’s rest. If you woud like to learn more about Lautaro, you can check out his google+ profile.