With several forms of sleep disorders that can negatively impact one’s lifestyle and health, a sleep study can help to determine the source of the problem. As a primary care and medical clinic, we also provide sleep treatment to help patients get the full night of sleep they need. A sleep study involves an overnight exam in which a medical professional will examine the brain and the body while the patient sleeps.
Sleep study is offered at Athena Medical Clinic in Athens and the surrounding area. With a sleep study, we can measure the extent of sleep disorder and its effect on the patient. With this data, we can then help to customize a treatment plan to meet the individual patient’s needs. Without the proper amount of sleep each night, patients will begin to experience other health issues as a result.
To see if a sleep study is the right treatment option for you and learn more about sleep disorders, call us at (706) 608-4072 to schedule an appointment.
What a sleep study can do for you
Patients struggling with insomnia, sleep apnea or other sleep issues can experience far more than just some discomfort or fatigue. Without the proper amount of sleep, patients will have trouble focusing during the day, find it difficult to stay awake, experience mood changes and struggle with regular fatigue.
These are only a few of the possible symptoms that a sleep study can help to treat. To help the patient get a decent night of sleep, we need to determine the cause of the sleep disorder. Dr. Deepak Das, M.D. will help the patient with a sleep study, also known as a polysomnography. With a sleep study, we can:
- Record the patient’s brain waves during sleep
- Measure the oxygen levels in the patient’s blood
- Measure the patient’s heart rate and breathing
- Monitor the patient’s eye and leg movement
- Examine the patient’s health and sleep cycle
- Listen for any snoring and measure its level
In most cases, the patient will stay overnight at a sleep center for this study to take place.
Understanding the sleep cycle
To determine the specific cause or sleep disorder interrupting the patient’s sleep, we need to study their sleep cycle. The sleep cycle is composed of several stages, the first of which being the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage. This is the stage in which the patient’s brainwaves slow down. Following this stage, the brain will begin to continue some activity in what is known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep is the stage when the eyes move back and forth rapidly while the patient has an increased chance of dreaming during this stage. The patient moves from NREM and REM sleep several times per night. Sleep disorders can disrupt this cycle by making it difficult for the patient to fall asleep or by waking the patient up several times per night.
What to expect during the sleep study
Generally, the patient will only need to go through one night of sleep study to determine what might be causing the sleep disorder. During a sleep study, we will:
- Have the patient avoid caffeine or alcohol before the test
- Have the patient avoid taking any naps the day of the test
- Place sensors on the scalp, temples, chest and legs
- Place a clip on the finger or ear to monitor oxygen levels in the blood
- Record the patient through video and audio devices
In most cases, the actual room in which the patient sleeps will resemble a hotel room with a bathroom. There will only be one patient per room and the patient can speak to the person monitoring them if they need assistance or to get up and use the bathroom. In the morning, we will remove the sensors and have the patient return home.
Treatment from the results
When reviewing the results, we will be able to determine the specific areas that relate to specific conditions. For instance, if patients display abnormal breathing patterns, then it may be a sign of sleep apnea. If the patient moves the legs frequently, then it may be the sign of periodic limb movement disorder.
Treatment can include recommending lifestyle changes or a CPAP machine. Known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, the CPAP will help to prevent snoring and the cessation of breathing that is a symptom of sleep apnea. We will go over the possible treatment options with the patient and determine the most effective course of action.
If you need treatment or struggling with sleep issues, then give us a call at (706) 608-4072 to schedule an appointment today.