If your doctor suspects that you have a sleep disorder, there are a number of different tests he or she may recommend to determine what is causing your symptoms. Although lab tests and an assessment of your symptoms can provide your doctor with a lot of information, sleep tests are usually the best way to get an accurate diagnosis. Here is a closer look at some common types of sleep testing you may undergo.
Overnight Sleep Study
An overnight sleep study, which is also called a polysomnogram or PSG, is a basic type of sleep study designed to collect an array of information about your sleeping patterns. Overnight sleep studies are conducted in sleep labs, where you will be connected to machines to monitor your brain, heart, air flow, eye movement, and muscle activity as you sleep. Snoring, body position, oxygen saturation, and any other parameters requested by your physician are also monitored. Technicians monitor patients by video and audio throughout the night. If you exhibit symptoms of sleep apnea during an overnight sleep study, the technician may start CPAP treatment with you during the study to see if it alleviates your symptoms.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
Maintenance of wakefulness tests, or MWTs, assess your ability to stay awake during the day. You will be asked to remain awake for a series of four tests that are two hours apart. The tests will record brain and heart activity to see if you stay awake or fall asleep during that period. MWTs usually are scheduled for the day following an overnight sleep study and can be particularly helpful for patients with narcolepsy.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test
Many people refer to the MSLT, multiple sleep latency test, as a nap test. It is used to determine if a diagnosis of excessive sleepiness is appropriate. These tests are scheduled for the day after an overnight sleep study. Patients are asked to take period naps, and heart and brain activity are recorded to see if napping really does occur.
Our sleep specialists in New Jersey at Sleep Dynamics analyze the results of these tests so you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need for your sleep disorder. To schedule an appointment, please call (848) 217-0240.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves intense daytime drowsiness and nearly uncontrollable bouts of sleep. It can also trigger cataplexy, involuntary episodes of muscle weakness. Because of these symptoms, many people with narcolepsy are concerned that their diagnosis will interfere with their ability to drive.
Driving laws are determined at the state level, and most states address narcolepsy alongside other diagnoses that could lead to impaired driving, such as epilepsy. Having narcolepsy does not mean that you can’t drive, but you may need to provide additional evidence about your condition when you get a license. The most important thing for someone with narcolepsy to remember is that, just like anyone else behind the wheel, you should never drive when you are tired. The monotony of the road could make you more prone to sleepiness. Your doctor may recommend a maintenance of wakefulness test to determine if it is safe for you to drive.
At Sleep Dynamics in Central New Jersey, we can help you get to the root of your sleep disorder with diagnostic testing, which is the first step in managing your condition. To learn more, please call (848) 217-0240.
Insomnia is one of the best-known sleep disorders—and also one of the most misunderstood. In fact, contrary to popular belief, insomnia is not itself a sleep disorder but instead is a symptom of another issue. If you are struggling with insomnia, talk to your doctor. A complete physical exam and overnight sleep test could be all that is standing between you and the rest you need. While you’re coping with insomnia, don’t let these myths keep you up at night.
Myth: Insomnia is a sign of depression and anxiety.
Insomnia can be an indicator of an underlying mental health issue, including depression or anxiety; however, these conditions are just a few of the many that can cause insomnia. Physical injury, illness, medication changes, dietary changes, and poor sleep hygiene can all contribute to insomnia. If you are struggling to sleep, don’t self-diagnose your restless nights. Get help as soon as possible to break the cycle of sleep loss.
Myth: You must get eight hours of sleep per night to be healthy.
One thing that people with insomnia frequently report is that the thought of being awake and not getting eight hours of sleep is itself a stressor that makes it even harder to get rest. In reality, eight hours is an average, not a rule. Some people can remain healthy and feel great on less than eight hours, while others need more. Listen to your body instead of causing yourself additional stress by trying to meet an arbitrary guideline that may not be right for you.
Myth: Alcohol can help you sleep if you have insomnia.
Alcohol has the opposite effect if you have insomnia. You may fall asleep quickly after a few drinks, but when your blood alcohol level begins to fall, you will wake up again and struggle to fall back asleep. Alcohol-disrupted sleep will make you feel groggy the next day and could reinforce the cycle of insomnia.
If you’re dealing with insomnia in Central New Jersey, Sleep Dynamics is here to help you get back to getting the rest you need to feel your best. Get the answers to your questions about sleep testing for insomnia by calling (848) 217-0240.
Diabetes and sleep have a complex relationship. Poor sleep can affect blood sugar control, and poor blood sugar control can affect sleep. Sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Watch this video to find out more about the link between sleep and diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with many conditions that can lead to insomnia, including restless leg syndrome and depression. When you don’t sleep, your blood sugar becomes harder to manage, which in turn can increase your sleep difficulties. Sleep apnea can cause obesity, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Don’t let a sleep disorder compromise your health. Visit Sleep Dynamics for an overnight sleep study and get to the root of your sleep disturbances. For more information about sleep medicine in Central New Jersey, please call (848) 217-0240.