If you have been struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep—or if you have other problems like severe nightmares or seizures during your sleep—your doctor will likely schedule you to undergo a sleep study at a sleep center. Basically, this means that you will spend a night sleeping while being observed by a medical team, which can help them figure out what is going on. Partaking in a sleep study is an important step in the process of diagnosing and treating the condition that's interfering with your sleep. But you may have a few questions rolling through your head as your study approaches. Hopefully, you will find the answers below.
What do you need to bring?
There are typically a few restrictions as to what you can bring to the sleep study. If you need it to sleep, or if it will make you more comfortable as you sleep, then you can bring it. Many people like to arrive at the sleep center in their clothing, but they bring along pajamas to change into. You can bring your own pillow and blanket if you desire. Books to read, headphones, your laptop—any entertainment you typically use to relax in the evening is typically okay, too.
What devices will be attached to you?
In many cases, you will have sets of electrodes attached to your body. One set will be on your chest; these measure your heart rate. Another set will be on your head; these measure certain brain waves. You may also have an oxygen sensor placed on one of your fingers. None of this equipment is painful, and it is typically attached in a way that will allow you to move and turn over comfortably.
What if you can't fall asleep?
If you already struggle to fall asleep at night, you probably worry that you won't be able to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. However, your doctor can often give you a sleep aid that will help. As the evening wears on, you probably will drift off, even if you were nervous about not being able to do so at first. Sleep centers are designed to be relaxing spaces, and the staff can do a lot to help you relax, from playing certain music to adjusting the lights.
At the end of your sleep study, you should hopefully have some answers as to what is ailing you. This is not at all an unpleasant medical test to have to endure; all you really have to do is relax and go to sleep. Contact a sleep center for more information.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.