Guest post by Julie Pepper Lim, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Meritage Medical Network.
Sleep! Sleep was one of my favorite things as a kid, and I remember when my mom had friends over how they would want me to stay up past my bedtime. They would try to tempt me with some fun game, or a show on tv, and I would say, “no, because it’s my bedtime,” as though that was something immutable.
I loved getting into bed and drifting off to sleep, cozy in my pajamas, tucked into my blankets, floating on my pillows and free to dream. I still love sleep, but as an adult, it doesn’t always come as easily and even when it does, staying asleep can be a major problem.
Sleep can be difficult due to any number of factors in a person’s day, but there are several sleep disorders that people suffer from that are obstacles for them to get a good night’s sleep. The good news is, there are a variety of sleep studies that can help diagnose different types of disorders, and if you qualify, your physician will be able to recommend the right one for you. Also, most insurance plans cover the studies – contact your insurance company for specific coverage criteria.
Here are five tests your doctor might consider if you are having a tough time sleeping or staying asleep.
1. Polysomnogram (PSG)
PSG is an overnight sleep disorder test that monitors the sleep cycles and stages to look at the brain, breathing, and muscle activity.
The kinds of disorders that a Polysomnogram diagnoses:
* Central sleep apnea
* REM behavior disorder
* Idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy
* Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPC) or advanced sleep phase syndrome or other disorders that are circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders
* Bruxism, limb movement, restless legs, and other sleep-movement related disorders
A Polysomnogram is used frequently and covers a wide range of diagnoses.
2. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
MSLT is used to test excessive daytime sleepiness and to quantify how fast a person falls asleep in a quiet environment in the daytime. It also covers the diagnosis of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. The tests are a full day with five scheduled naps, two-hours apart.
Sensors are placed on the face when the person is asleep and awake, to identify when they’re in REM sleep. Narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia are both diagnoses that come from this test, as well.
3. CPAP Titration
CPAP Titration is most commonly used to manage sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, as well as hypoventilation. The studies are conducted overnight in the sleep laboratory. During the study, a patient’s breathing is monitored and the CPAP pressure is adjusted to determine the proper air pressure required to prevent upper airway obstruction and eradicate pauses in a person’s breathing while they sleep.
4. Split Night Study
A split night study reduces the time to treat because it cuts down the diagnoses time to a single night, using polysomnography in the first part of the night and CPAP titration in the second part of the night. These are generally used to diagnose OSA—Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
5. Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT)
MWT challenges a patient to stay awake through periodic trials to measure how alert they are during the day.
Sleep is so important for everyone so, if you are having trouble sleeping, going to a sleep center may help you to understand your sleep patterns.
To help leverage a person’s discomfort about sleeping in a lab, people are encouraged to bring their favorite sleeping clothes or even their pillow and blanket.
For World Sleep Day, be mindful of yours and if you’re not getting what you need, talk to your doctor about setting up a sleep study.