The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for their body to function optimally throughout the day. Unfortunately, up to 70 million adults in the U.S. have a sleep disorder that prevents them from getting consistently restful sleep.
To diagnose and treat sleep disorders, medical professionals often recommend that patients undergo a sleep study.
About Sleep Studies
A sleep study, also known as a polysomnography, is an overnight exam that provides insights into your brain and bodily functions while you sleep.
The test is used to diagnose sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders and other sleep-related problems.
What to Know Before the Sleep Study
- Your comfort is a priorityOur sleep studies take place at a medical facility, but the room has the look and comfort of a hotel room. You’re encouraged to bring personal items, such as pajamas and a toothbrush.
The sleep study itself is painless and noninvasive. Tiny sensors will be placed on your head and body to monitor various bodily and brain activity, but the sensors will not restrict your movement during sleep. The sensors may feel awkward at first, but we do our best to make you as comfortable as possible.
- Come preparedA sleep study won’t drastically change your daily routine, but there are a few steps to take before arriving for the study.
You should wash and dry your hair prior to the study, but avoid putting any product in your hair. Any oils or sprays can make it difficult for the sensors to adhere to your scalp. You should also try to avoid naps the day of the study and stay away from caffeinated beverages later in the day.
- Communication is keyYou should enter your sleep study with a basic understanding of the process, so don’t be afraid to ask questions before and during the study.
You should also be fully honest with staff about any prescription and recreational drugs you take, as well as any special needs you have (i.e. physical limitations, trouble getting out of bed, nocturnal enuresis, etc.).
- Help is always closeAlthough you’ll have privacy during the sleep study, staff is always nearby in case of emergency.
- Results are not instantaneousIt can take up to two weeks for sleep study results to be processed. Once your doctor evaluates all the data from the study, they will schedule a follow-up visit to discuss your results and formulate a treatment plan, if necessary.
If you have specific questions about sleep studies, call our office at (717) 234-2561. To learn more about sleep apnea, join us at our upcoming community discussion April 27!