A good night’s sleep is essential for feeling refreshed, being productive, and making healthy decisions. But some people still feel exhausted after getting eight or more hours of sleep. This can be due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder, and a sleep study is a great tool to help doctors identify and treat the condition.
What is the point of a sleep study?
Sleep studies are essential for diagnosing sleep disorders that can lead to poor sleep quality, which in turn can have negative effects on a person’s health. In fact, inadequate sleep has been linked to:
- Lack of focus
- Brain fog
- Increased risk of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and
- Weight gain
- Weakened immunity
- And more
Sleep studies are great tools for diagnosing a variety of conditions, including central and obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and sleepwalking. If you are frequently tired despite seeming to get an adequate amount of sleep, these studies can help you find answers.
What happens during a comprehensive sleep study?
In a typical sleep study, the patient arrives at the center in the evening, and the doctor takes their vitals. Medical staff come and place electrodes, small disks that record activity, on the head and face and soft bands around the chest and abdomen that measure breathing on the patient. While it may seem like a lot of wires, they are gathered in a group and are long, allowing patients to move freely in their sleep.
After the patient gets all of their monitoring devices set up, they can relax in bed and get ready to sleep. The technologist monitoring the study will stay up all night to help the patient, as well as monitor the results that are coming in. They may wake the patient up at some point to ask them to try a different sleeping position or make another adjustment to gather as much data as possible.
What happens after a sleep study?
A typical sleep study produces a lot of data (more than 1,000 pages) that a doctor will “score.” They will look for patterns that can point to disorders or conditions that may result in poor sleep quality. From there, they can make a diagnosis and help navigate the patient into the right treatment path, helping them work their way to better sleep.
Incorporating Innovation Into Sleep Medicine
Since the typical sleep study involves scoring over 1,000 pages of data, it can take about a week for a doctor to provide a diagnosis. However, the Sleep Center at St. Joseph Health in Bryan adopted EnsoSleep, an artificial intelligence program that scores and analyzes sleep studies in a matter of minutes. This time-saving tool allows our team members to spend less time working through paperwork and more time optimizing patient care.
“This program will ultimately enable us to expand patient care and provide more holistic treatment and education to a population of patients that can now benefit from ongoing sleep care treatment and improved quality of life.
— Robin Parr, SJH Sleep Lab Manager
If poor sleep quality is beginning to affect your life, it may be time to complete a sleep study. Schedule an appointment at one of our sleep medicine locations, and our compassionate team members will help you take the first step toward better overall health.
Sleep Foundation | Depression and Sleep
Healthline | The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body