If your doctor has ordered you to visit a sleep clinic, chances are, you’ve been suffering from lack of sleep, general tiredness in the day or a sleep-related medical problem. Sleep-related medical problems may be diagnosable issues like sleep apnea or more obscure problems that are hard to target like morning headaches.
A sleep study test will help determine what’s going on with your body when you sleep, and it will further help your doctor and medical professionals figure out what needs to be done to remedy the problem.
What Is a Sleep Clinic
Before we get into what to expect at your first sleep study test, let’s discuss what a sleep clinic is. A sleep clinic is a medical location where those with sleep problems or full-blown sleep disorders can go for tests, advice and medical help. Sleep clinics are often located in hospitals or clinical practices. Many sleep clinics are located on university or college campuses.
Before you can visit a sleep clinic, your doctor must give you a referral, and you must make an appointment. Some sleep clinics will give you a machine to take home and test your sleep with. This machine will test things while you sleep like your eye movements, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, body movements and more while you’re sleep. You can use this at home so that you don’t have to stay overnight at a sleep clinic.
On the other hand, some clinics will have you stay overnight ta their facility, and they will hook you up to one of these machines on their facility’s campus. Either way, once your clinic has the appropriate information, they can help diagnose a range of common sleep problems that you may have. These may include sleep-related seizure disorders, disorders that may be caused by excessive sleepiness in the daytime, movement disorders that bother you while you sleep and keep you from sleeping or breathing disorders.
Breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA are some of the most common disorders that those with troubled sleep experience. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may have pauses in your breathing while you sleep, or you may be taking extremely shallow breaths while you’re sleeping. Some shallow breathing or pausing in breathing is normal while you sleep, but those with sleep apnea may have up to 30 pauses every hour while they sleep.
In order to help someone who has obstructive sleep apnea, sleep clinics or doctors will usually prescribe the use of a CPAP masks. These masks are hooked to machines, which can help regulate breathing.
If you have been having trouble sleeping, consider seeking help at a sleep study facility. If you end up having OSA, the use of a CPAP mask may save your life.