Have you been feeling tired and fatigued? Having headaches in the morning even before you start your day? Experiencing brain fog or lack of focus at work? Perhaps we can trace the root of these problems in the quality of your sleep.
If we look at the modern lifestyle, hours spent on sleep seems to be getting lesser and lesser. Sleep is becoming a luxury one must say! Nonetheless, we should make the most out of every minute of sleep we get. As we know, the body is like a machine of wonders. It continually works with a bunch of processes that are so complicated, yet can do so with harmony and balance. What happens if this balance is interrupted? Illnesses and aches happen. The symptoms that we are feeling are warning signs from the inside that something is wrong. One of these processes that tends to be taken for granted and disrupted is SLEEP.
Common causes of sleep disruption could be physical disturbances such as pain, medical issues, psychiatric problems, and environmental issues such as brightness and noise. Of course, these conditions will affect the overall quality of sleep. However, a good quality sleep is not measured solely by the number of hours we spent in bed. More importantly, we should take into account the level of restfulness it gives. If you think you’ve slept enough hours, but still feel fatigued and sleepy throughout the day, maybe it’s time for a SLEEP STUDY.
A sleep study, also called polysomnography, is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure to help doctors determine sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and even night time behaviors such as sleepwalking and teeth grinding. Sleep studies can also help clinicians know which treatment best suits a patient, or if a therapy works well such as in CPAP titration studies for sleep apnea patients. It is very common that a sleep disorder will be an incidental finding from a check-up regarding other non-sleep related health concerns. A sleep study will either be done in a sleep laboratory or in the patient’s own home. Most sleep studies are conducted overnight, but certain sleep studies take place during daytime.
In lab sleep studies usually involve several sensors and electrodes hooked up on the body to measure parameters such as brain waves (EEG), eye movement (EOG), nasal and oral airflow, heart rhythm (ECG), oxygen saturation, chest and abdominal rise, and muscle activity (EMG). There will also be an infrared camera inside the room, and a mini microphone attached to observe snoring. A sleep technologist will monitor the patient throughout the night. After the doctor specializing in this test reviews the overnight data, it will yield a result that states how much light and deep sleep you get, if you snore lightly or loudly, if you stop breathing while you sleep, or if there are abnormal muscle activities observed in sleep. In-lab studies can test for a whole range of sleep disorders.
Home sleep studies may include all the parameters just like an in-lab sleep study, but without a sleep tech monitoring throughout the night. Other levels of home sleep study may involve lesser parameters and lesser contraptions. The patient may find it more comfortable as he will be sleeping in his natural environment, not in a laboratory setting. Nowadays, home sleep tests are becoming more popular because of convenience and cost effectiveness. Most home sleep tests also take lesser time to generate a result because of newer technologies being used. It should be noted, however, that the type of sleep study prescribed by the doctor will still depend on the severity of symptoms presented and the likelihood of sleep disorders that might be present.
If you think you are one who needs a sleep study, or immediately thinks of a loved one who shows symptoms of a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor now! Make good quality sleep a priority.
Here in the Air Station, we work closely together with sleep clinicians and patients in their journey towards a better sleep from diagnosis to treatment. You may call our customer care line at +603 80239329 to know more about our sleep study services.
Mary Lyn is a registered Nurse, Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist at The Air Station Singapore. She has an interest in sleep medicine and conducts training as a clinical instructor. She has successfully helped and supported many patients throughout their therapy journey.
The Air Station Malaysia
Level 9 Menara Summit, Persiaran Kewajipan USJ 1,
47600 UEP Subang Jaya, Selangor