What a Sleep Study Provides
Getting a sleep study (polysomnography) helps a doctor learn a patient’s habits when they are asleep. For example, a sleep study measures vitals like your oxygen levels, heart rate, and brain waves. This test is beneficial because it’s impossible to know how your body works when you are catching some quality shut-eye. Consequently, the things you will learn from having a sleep study will provide you with some answers if you feel you are suffering from any sleeping disorder, especially if you show signs of sleep apnea.
Reasons Why You Need a Sleep Study
You cannot differentiate the separate cycles when you aren’t conscious. The first cycle is non-rapid eye movement (NREM), in which a sleep study will record your brain waves. The second stage is rapid eye movement (REM), responsible for all the fun dreams.
Most people typically go in-and-out of NREM and REM in about an hour and a half. Polysomnography will highlight how well you are dozing off while simultaneously finding any irregularities requiring additional assistance.
What You’ll Learn From a Sleep Study
A sleep technician will track all the following:
- Heart rate
- Blood oxygen levels
- Body movements (eye, chest, stomach, limbs)
- Breathing patterns
- Brain waves
If there are inconsistencies within the study, you likely have a sleeping disorder. There are several ways doctors will provide treatment for you, with the most common one being a prescription for a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP supplies a constant flow of air to ensure you never stop breathing. Most CPAP machines can last upwards of six years if you take care of and clean them.
Considering that sleep is one of the most vital elements of living a healthy life, there is no need to put off a potential fix any longer. With proper care, the things you will learn from having a sleep study may improve your quality of sleep and potentially save your life. Obstructive sleep apnea affects millions of people each year, so don’t let it go undiagnosed.