There are a number of diagnostic tools that sleep medicine specialists can use to evaluate patients. You may have already heard about overnight sleep studies, in which a technician monitors a patient in a lab setting while he or she sleeps. But you might be surprised to learn that some sleep disorder studies can be done while patients are awake. Here’s what you’ll need to know if your doctor has recommended a maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT). 

What’s the purpose of the MWT? 

With the MWT, the sleep medicine doctor can evaluate how well you’re able to stay alert and function normally during the day. Usually, a MWT is done when patients are diagnosed with disorders that affect daytime functioning, like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. It’s particularly important to perform an MWT if a patient might have a risk of daytime accidents because of sleepiness. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the test? 

Beforehand, the specialist will determine whether there are any factors that may affect the accuracy of the results. These can include the amount of sleep you got before the test. Caffeine, tobacco, and certain medications can also affect the results, and you may be asked to avoid these substances beforehand. Many patients are asked to have an overnight sleep study the night before the MWT. 

What happens during the test? 

On the day that you’re scheduled to have the MWT, you’ll actually have four tests. These are scheduled at two-hour intervals. Normally, the first test starts between 1.5 and three hours after waking up. The technician will place sensors on your skin. During each of the tests, you’ll need to remain in the bed, staying still and trying to stay awake without engaging in any activities. If you can stay awake, the test will end after 40 minutes. You’ll repeat it later that same day. 

Here at Sleep Dynamics, we provide a full range of diagnostic services, including maintenance of wakefulness tests. Our skilled sleep medicine doctors and technicians will work one-on-one with you to develop an effective treatment plan that allows you to get the restorative sleep you need each night. Get in touch today at (848) 217-0240 if you think you might have a sleep disorder and you live in New Jersey.

Preterm babies are those born before 37 weeks of gestation. Because they haven’t had enough time to finish developing in the womb, preterm infants are at a higher risk of numerous health problems. Some of those health problems are immediately evident, and require specialized care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). And some health complications may have lifelong effects on the child, like sleep apnea

Evidence of a Higher Risk of Sleep Apnea  

According to a preterm infant study published in Clinical Imaging, these infants have a tendency toward clinically significant lower nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal volumes, compared to infants who are carried to term. The difference in airway volume occurs independently of factors like the infants’ weight, gender, and ethnicity. The researchers concluded that the increased risk of sleep apnea in preterm infants does not appear to stem from enlarged adenoids. This conclusion came after examining MRI scans on 96 infants, 49 of whom were born preterm.  

Signs of Sleep Apnea in Children 

Parents play a vital role in identifying the potential signs of sleep apnea in their young children. Preterm babies, as well as those who were carried to term, can be closely examined while they sleep for signs of sleep apnea. Perhaps the most noticeable sign is loud, frequent snoring. It’s also possible to observe a child with sleep apnea going through periodic pauses in breathing. Other possible signs are:

Children can also display symptoms during the daytime, including the following:

Sleep Dynamics offers special care for young patients with sleep disorders, including pediatric overnight sleep studies. Every child who undergoes a sleep study has their own dedicated technician, who monitors the child for the entire night. Call us at (848) 217-0240 if your child has been referred for a pediatric sleep study in central New Jersey. 

While you’re asleep, your brain is still capable of registering noises. It’s why sudden, loud sounds can wake you up. White noise is different. It provides a steady, soothing background sound that can muffle sudden noises. Many people with insomnia find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night if they use white noise in the bedroom. An ambient noise may be particularly helpful for shift workers, who must sleep during the day while the rest of the household is active. 

Consider adding white noise to your sleep disorder treatment plan. You could invest in a white noise machine, which can be set to different sounds, like ocean waves. Or, just run a fan or an air purifier in your bedroom at night. 

Sleep Dynamics offers a Behavioral Sleep Medicine program in New Jersey to help individuals resolve sleep disorders with non-drug techniques. If you’re struggling with insomnia, call us today at (848) 217-0240. 

Legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal had a snoring problem. His partner alerted him to the issue. She had become increasingly concerned that Shaq sometimes stopped breathing during sleep. She suspected Shaq had sleep apnea, and an overnight sleep study confirmed this. 

You can learn more about Shaq’s experience with sleep apnea when you watch this video. It follows Shaq as he learns about the disorder, goes through the diagnostic process, and tries on his first CPAP mask. Now that he’s receiving treatment, Shaq is getting more quality sleep, and he feels healthier and more energized. 

Sleep Dynamics is a trusted provider of overnight sleep studies in the central New Jersey area. Call (848) 217-0240 to request an appointment with one of our sleep medicine experts.

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