Sleep is not a simple process. It is an active state essential for physical and mental restoration.
With the development of a sleeping disorder, a sleep study is needed to properly diagnose.
Some 84 disorders of sleeping and waking harm personal health and quality of life and endanger public safety by contributing to traffic and industrial accidents.
These disorders include problems falling or staying asleep, problems staying awake or adhering to a consistent sleep/wake schedule, sleepwalking, bedwetting, sleep paralysis, nightmares, sleep apnea and other problems that interfere with sleep.
A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is a recording that contains several types of measurements used to identify different sleep stages and classify various sleep problems.
What sleep study measures
Many parts of the brain control sleep and influence its different stages. Sleep studies tell which stage of sleep a person is in by measuring different activities of the brain and body ... such as brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rate, and respiration.
The above mentioned activities that occur during sleep are monitored by applying small metal discs called electrodes to the head and skin. These electrodes are attached with an adhesive hypoallergenic tape. Flexible elastic belts are placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your breathing. The level of oxygen in your blood and your heart rate are monitored by a clip that fits on your index finger . None of these devices hurt and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible.
The sleep study and its analysis and interpretation involve a complex process. Many hours of work are required by specially trained people, including sleep technologists who process or score large amount of data from the night. The information is then interpreted by a sleep specialist with special knowledge of and training in sleep and its disorders.
A typical sleep study involves more than 800 pages of different types of data (e.g., brain waves, muscle movements, eye movements). Due to this time-consuming and labor-intensive process, sleep studies are usually not evaluated immediately and it may take some time to receive the results of your study.