What Makes a Good Candidate for an Overnight Sleep Study?
What Is an Overnight Sleep Study?
An overnight sleep study is used to diagnose sleeping disorders. During this test, the patient will sleep under specific conditions with a piece of equipment that attaches to him or her, usually via an adhesive patch or specialized tube. The goal of the study is to determine how well your body’s different systems adapt to and maintain restful sleep conditions.
Why Is an Overnight Sleep Study Used?
An overnight sleep study is indicated when the patient may be suffering from a chronic sleep condition. Sleep studies are used to diagnose a specific sleep disorder when symptoms persist for at least several weeks and don’t respond to lifestyle changes.
A sleep study may be performed if your doctor suspects:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
What Information Can You Get from an Overnight Sleep Study?
An overnight sleep study provides comprehensive insight into sleep health. This information is used to determine the source of symptoms and develop a customized plan of treatment.
The overnight sleep study furnishes your doctor with all the following information:
- Breathing patterns before and during sleep as well as levels of oxygenation.
- Heart rate and blood pressure during the different phases of a sleep cycle.
- Eye movements, which can indicate deep sleep or a lack of it during the night.
- Brainwaves, which help determine the presence and length of sleep stages.
- Body movements, speaking, noises, and other potential disturbances.
Using this, your doctor can determine the root cause of your sleeping issues. In many cases, this single test is all that’s necessary to prescribe appropriate care.
Preparations for an Overnight Sleep Study
In general, there are few preparations needed for an overnight sleep study.
If your study is performed at a sleep lab, you will probably be asked to avoid caffeine, other stimulants, and alcohol that day. You may also be instructed to adjust or temporarily discontinue any medication that might influence your sleeping.
If you will use a sleep study machine at home, the process is a little bit more complex. You may be asked to attend a brief demonstration to learn how the machine works. You might need to get a certain amount of uninterrupted sleep for the readings to be useful.
The Process of an Overnight Sleep Study
If your sleep study is taking place at a lab, you’ll be given instructions on when to arrive and what to bring. Generally, you should bring a change of clothes and any hygiene items you need for the night. You may arrive an hour or up to several hours before it is time to sleep.
Before the study, you’ll have the whole process explained and have the opportunity to ask any questions. After the equipment is properly set up, you’ll be left alone in privacy, though you will be able to contact staff to meet any needs you have during the night.
If you will be taking equipment home, the process is as simple as following the instructions you received during orientation or from your instruction packet. You can go to bed at your regular time in the comfort of your own home and discontinue use of the equipment in the morning.
The Benefits of an Overnight Sleep Study
An overnight sleep study is the most efficient way to get an accurate understanding of how your doctor can best help you get restful, restorative sleep. With the most complex sleep disturbances, an overnight sleep study may be the only way to accurately diagnose the problem.
Eos Sleep Diagnostics can help. Contact us today to learn more.