What Is Monitored During A Sleep Study?

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Sleep disorders come in many forms and can affect people of all ages, but they are not issues that should be ignored. If you believe you may have any type of sleep disorder, your doctor may recommend getting a sleep study. During a sleep study, you will sleep at a clinic, and there will be someone monitoring your sleep habits all night long. Here are the things they will be monitoring while you sleep.

Heart rate

When you are in a deep sleep, the rate at which your heart beats should be slower. This is a natural response a person has; however, the heart often starts beating a little faster during REM sleep. When you get a sleep study completed, the technician will be monitoring your heart rate and the changes it experiences all night long. This can help the doctor determine if you are reaching a deep sleep or not, and it can help a doctor know if you actually experience REM sleep.

Brain waves

The technician that is monitoring you through the night will also be watching your brain waves as you sleep, and this is done through an electroencephalogram (EFG) machine. Your brain is constantly working, but there are normal changes in brain waves when a person is awake versus when he or she sleeps. Monitoring your brain waves can help your doctor know if you are reaching a deep sleep and how often this is happening during the night.

When you are awake, brain waves are more even and fast. When you sleep, the brain waves are typically larger and slower. If this is not happening as usual while you sleep, it could indicate that you have some type of sleep disorder that is preventing you from sleeping properly.

Breathing patterns

The way you breathe will also be monitored during a sleep study, and this is helpful for diagnosing sleep apnea and other types of breathing disorders. If you experience any abnormal types of breathing patterns while you are sleeping, the technician will see this. The technician will also be monitoring the oxygen levels in your blood, as this is closely related to breathing issues, and other parts of the way you breathe.

The only way you can find out if you suffer from a sleep disorder is by getting a sleep study completed. Sleep studies are not painful, and they only require spending one night at a facility. If you would like to find out more about this, contact a sleep disorder clinic today.