What Happens During A Sleep Study

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Inside a Sleep Study

    A 2001 study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Bulletin estimated the number of annual sleep studies conducted in the United States at 1.17 million; the same study estimated that there are nearly 1300 sleep centers across the country.

    Each sleep center is unique; the types of doctors on staff may vary, for instance. But the way these centers operate is fairly uniform.

    Most patients are referred to a sleep center by a physician, although some individuals contact local sleep centers independently. An initial consultation with sleep center staff may provide enough information to resolve the patient’s concerns, or it may be the first step leading to an actual sleep study.

    When most people think of sleep studies, they think of the overnight studies. For these, patients arrive in the early evening—perhaps around 7 PM—and work with a technician to get set up for the night. They acquaint themselves with the bedroom where they will spend the night, they change into their pajamas, and the technicians place monitors on them that will track physiological functions such as breathing, brain activity, leg movements, and heart rate.

    Sleep centers encourage patients to spend their evening at the sleep center as though it were any other evening. Patients may choose to while away the hours before bedtime watching television, reading, or doing some light paperwork. When they’re ready, they turn out the lights and get to sleep. The only difference is that a camera is keeping a watchful eye on them, and the technicians are monitoring their heart rate, breathing, and other physiological functions via the monitors.

    In the morning the patients rise, change clothes, and get on their way. In the meantime the technicians take a look at all the information gathered by the monitors and organize that information so center physicians can readily understand it. In a week or two, patients return to the center and confer with the doctor, who interprets their data for them. Thus patients learn whether or not they have a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea, and which medications or apparatuses may be able to help them manage that issue.

    Other studies take place during the day; logically enough, these tests look at the patients’ levels of daytime sleepiness.

    NFA Newsletter
  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Good info if you have never had a sleep study done and wonder what happens when you have one!
  3. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I had mine about a month ago.

    In a nutshell, it showed that my brain was awake pretty much all night. The sleep doc said this is a typical sleep pattern for those of us fibro sufferers.

    And I took 1 mg of lorazepam that night!

    Sue in Ontario

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