Sleep Studies: 3 Things You Need to Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of the United States population reports not getting enough sleep at night – which is seven to nine hours for most adults. Still, many people do not seek help for their sleep disorders.
If you're one of these people, scheduling an overnight sleep study could help unearth the root of your chronic sleep issues, allowing you to find the right treatment. Anthony Suchoski MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Group Health, answers common questions about overnight sleep studies.
#1: I Won’t be Able to Sleep While Hooked Up to a Machine. What’s the Point?
Contrary to popular belief, your sleep doctor only needs a minimum of two hours to make an appropriate diagnosis. If you are having a difficult time nodding off, “we’ll give you a short-acting sleeping pill [like Zaleplon], which will not affect the study,” Dr. Suchoski explains.
#2: Are Sleep Studies Ever Done During the Day?
If you work third shift, the scheduled time for your sleep study will be adjusted accordingly. In this case, you would come into the center at 8 a.m. and then the study would be performed the same way as an overnight study.
- Related: How Does a Sleep Study Work?
#3: Can I Perform a Sleep Study at Home?
“Yes, we do offer unattended sleep studies,” Dr. Suchoski says. Home sleep studies are a simplified version of what occurs at a sleep center or lab, and are most commonly recommended for people who may have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the flow of air pauses or decreases during breathing when you are asleep, because the airway has become narrowed, blocked or floppy.
For at-home sleep studies, a technician comes to your home to set up the machine and show you how to use it.
At-home sleep studies should not be used if you:
- Are at risk of falling
- Have any lung or cardiac problems
- Have other sleep disorders
Last Updated: September 23, 2013