Do I need a sleep study?

September 29, 2020 3 mins read
Do I need a sleep study?

Are you worried that you might have a sleep disorder and want to undergo a sleep study? This type of medical examination can help identify what’s robbing you of your precious rest. But do you need to go for one?

If you have only missed a few nights of sleep, there’s more than likely nothing to worry about. But if your sleeplessness persists, a sleep study could identify why you’re not getting the shut-eye you need.

What does a sleep study test for?

Many sleep disorders can’t be diagnosed with an in-office examination. Doctors use sleep studies to identify various sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome, insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and REM sleep disorder.

During a polysomnography test (a fancy word for a sleep study), doctors will test for different types of sleep disorders by measuring the oxygen in your blood, your brainwaves, breathing, and heart rate while you sleep.

Gathering this information will help them put together the puzzle pieces and get a better picture of your sleep problem.

Signs I need a sleep study

Is it time to go for a sleep study? It depends.

If you’re showing signs of having a sleep disorder, like heavy snoring, daytime sleepiness, or struggling to fall asleep (or sleeping through the night), it might be time that you visit a sleep clinic.

Here are some more signs to look out for.

Difficulty concentrating

Have you been feeling a little foggy lately? Many things can make it harder to concentrate, including attention deficit disorder (ADHD), pregnancy, anxiety, and stress. But, struggling to focus during the day could also signal that you’re not getting the quality sleep you need.

Irritability

Life is filled with many potentially irritating scenarios (think: heavy traffic, slow internet speeds, and noisy neighbours). But if you find yourself snapping over the smallest things, it could be due to a lack of sleep caused by a sleep problem.

Daily nap attacks

The benefits of napping include helping you feel energised, improving your memory, making you feel alert, and reducing anxiety. However, while taking a nap can be good for you, it is not healthy to feel like you can’t get through the day without one. If you frequently get nap attacks while at work or in class, there might be an underlying problem.

Snoring

Has your partner been complaining about your snoring? Allergies, alcohol, sleep apnea, or even the anatomy of your mouth can all be to blame. This is where a sleep study can be beneficial. Once you know the cause of your snoring, you can start taking action to reduce it.

Trouble falling or staying asleep

Some people can fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. If you’re tossing and turning and struggling to fall asleep, you might have a sleep disorder like insomnia. If the problem persists, speak to your GP about going for a sleep study.

Outcomes of a sleep study

The results of the sleep study will depend on your sleeping patterns and situation. Once your doctor has reviewed your data, they will give you more information about your sleep stages, snoring episodes, and heart rate.

Other information you can expect includes your sleep efficiency and Oxygen Desaturation Index (ODI). This refers to the number of times your oxygen levels drop below 90% while sleeping.

Put your mind at ease if you are worried about showing signs of having sleep problems. The world of good sleep and sweet dreams could be a sleep study and a few changes away.