Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Problems

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Problems

by Crystal (SU)

A good night’s sleep is essential to our health and quality of life. But sometimes, sleep issues can prevent us from getting the right amount of restful sleep.


Lack of adequate sleep can increase our risk of diabetes, hypertension, depression, and obesity. It can also make us irritable, sleepy during the day, and unable to fully and properly operate machinery such as driving a car.


There are a variety of causes of sleep issues, and determining the exact cause is the first step in preventing future issues. If you are having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, a sleep study can help you pinpoint the cause.


What Is a Sleep Study?


A sleep study allows doctors to pinpoint the exact condition causing the sleeping problem. Through technology that can monitor and record the patient’s vitals and movements while they sleep, a doctor can examine you while you sleep and note all of your symptoms – including ones unbeknownst to you!


A polysomnography (also known as a sleep study or sleep lab) is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders by monitoring and recording the following while the person is sleeping:


·       Brain waves

·       Heart rate

·       Blood oxygen levels

·       Breathing

·       Eye movements

·       Leg movements


How Do I Know I Need a Sleep Study?


If you experience any of the following, you may have a sleep disorder:


-        Consistent fatigue

-        Extreme and uncontrollable drowsiness during the day

-        Difficulty falling asleep

-        Waking up throughout the night

-        Loud snoring (per feedback from those you live with)

-        Unusual movements or behavior while you sleep


If any of the above describe you, then it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor. They may conduct a sleep study test to determine the cause of your sleep problems.


How Is a Polysomnography Performed?


A sleep study (polysomnography) is ideally performed at a sleep center and is completely painless for the patient. Before the test, your doctor will advise you not to drink alcohol or consume anything with caffeine during the day of the sleep study. These substances can change the way you sleep and give incorrect test results.


Patients arrive at the facility in the evening to spend the night. Patients are allowed to bring items and clothes along that are a part of their regular bedtime routines.


Our sleep study room is similar to a comfortable bedroom – with storage for belongings, a personal bathroom, a cozy bed with luxurious linens, and cable TV. It is a quiet and welcoming atmosphere designed to help you relax and sleep peacefully.


Before you go to bed, the technologist will place sensors at various parts of your body, such as the head, legs, arms, and chest using an adhesive. If you need to get up in the middle of the night, the technologists will help remove and reattach the sensors.


In the morning, the sensors are removed and the test is finished. You will then schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor to review the results.


What Conditions Can a Sleep Study Detect?


A sleep study can help diagnose a variety of sleep conditions, such as:


-        Sleep apnea (frequent stoppage of breathing while sleeping)

-        Periodic limb movement disorder (involuntary leg movements while sleeping)

-        Narcolepsy (sudden and overwhelming sleepiness throughout the day)

-        Insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep)

-        Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (also called parasomnia – acting out verbally and physically during sleep)

-        Too much moving, rhythmic movements, or unusual activities while sleeping


Sleep Doctor in North Texas


There are few things more important to your health and well-being than restful slumber. If you are experiencing symptoms related to inadequate sleep, talk to a sleep specialist about the possibility of having a sleep study to determine the cause of your sleep issue.


The sleep center at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas offers a holistic approach to sleep medicine. We use state-of-the-art technology to perform at-home and/or in-office sleep studies to diagnose and treat a patient’s sleep disorders.


To learn more about how the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas can help you sleep better, call us at (817) 594-9993 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you get back into the wonderful habit of enjoying a restful sleep every night.