An Introduction to Home Sleep Study Tests
This article explains everything you need to know about taking part in a sleep study. The topic can be an overwhelming one, so it's broken down into more manageable parts. By having these points to focus on, you will find out what is needed to take part in a sleep study and understand what to expect when you register.
What is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study uses equipment to monitor heart rate, brain activity, movement during the night, blood oxygen levels, etc., while you are asleep.
What Is a Sleep Study Looking For?
There are several things that a study may be looking for.
In many cases, sleep apnea can be diagnosed by concerns such as snoring, unexplained pauses in breathing and sometimes loud snoring. If apnea is discovered, then the patient may also benefit from treatment with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or even surgery to correct the problem. A sleep study may be used to help determine the severity of this condition.
Other Sleep Disorders
Sleep studies are also used to diagnose other sleep-related conditions, such as narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome. There are a few different types of sleep studies that may be used when trying to diagnose a sleep disorder. These include polysomnography and multiple channel overnight PSG.
Polysomnography is the type of study where an array of sensors is attached to the patient, including electrodes on their scalp and under their chin, as well as an electrocardiograph. These sensors monitor the body's various functions during the night, including brain waves, body movements and oxygen levels. These sensors will either be attached to the patient with tape or sensors that go under the skin. The electrodes on the scalp will be attached to a cap that may have a net, known as an "Enet," attached to it in order to hold the wires in place. The sensors are connected to a machine that is constantly recording data.
Multiple Channel Overnight PSG
A multiple channel overnight PSG is very similar to polysomnography. However, this test usually has fewer channels, as it may simply require a sleep study that monitors brain waves as well as oxygen levels. This type of study may also only need one sensor under the chin rather than several placed around the head during testing.
If you would like further information, contact a health centre which offers home sleep study tests. A member of staff will be happy to help.