Time to Seek Professional Help
Sometimes you try your hardest to address your sleep issues on your own. You go to bed on time every night, avoid caffeine, try hypnosis, even get a prescription… But sleep isn’t happening for you.
If this happens, you need to seek the help of a trained professional. A sleep expert can help you get to the root of the problem and diagnose your sleep disorder. It’s the only way you can find a solution that will work for you.
Consider a Sleep Study
Check with your medical insurance company before meeting with a sleep expert. In the past, sleep studies were not always covered. Today, many providers cover sleep lab stays and in-home sleep studies.
Sleep studies are usually performed at a sleep study center. But, now-a-days, health care providers are also conducting in-home sleep studies. They hook you up to some wires and monitoring devices perform the study. Many sleep expert believe that you can relax and fall asleep easier in the comforts of your own bedroom.
What to Expect During a Sleep Study
The sleep experts and medical techs will perform the following tests:
- PSG (Polysomnogram) where they record the physiological data while you sleep.
- An EEG (electroencephalogram)
- An EOG (electrooculography)
- An EMG (electromyography)
- An EKG (electrocardiogram)
- Check your respiratory patterns, limb movements, and other variables.
When you go, you’ll need to bring two-piece pajamas so they can easily hook up the electrodes to your chest area. You should avoid wearing hair products such as conditioner, hairspray, or gel.
You Will Likely Have Food and Medical Restrictions
You should avoid drinking caffeine the afternoon and during the study. Do remember to continue to take your daily medications as prescribed by a doctor. Remember to bring books, magazines and electronic devices like MP3 players (iPads/iPods). In fact sleep study centers encourage you to do so.
Confirm with the sleep lab in advance if they have shower facilities. This will be handy if the sleep study is performed on a weeknight and you go straight to work the next day. If they don’t, you need to ensure you leave early enough the next morning to allow for time to go home and get ready for your workday.
After the Sleep Study
After your night’s sleep, the sleep study team will analyze the data and forward your results to your doctor. They’ll take note of your brain waves, heart rhythms, eye and leg movement, and oxygen levels.
This will help your doctor(s) figure out what makes you sleepy, how long it takes you to fall into a deep sleep, and what keeps you awake at night. Armed with this information, you and your physician can make a decision about the course of treatment that best suits your situation.