Sleep Disorder Facts
Sleep disorders are a relatively silent epidemic affecting countless people of all ages around the world. Men, women, and children — no group is spared. Some examples of debilitating sleep disorders are insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders like narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder, and persistent sleep deprivation. To make matters worse, some types of sleep disorders increase the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and unexplained sudden death.
Home Sleep Testing
Home Sleep Testing has become more prominent as an alternative to in-center, attended sleep studies. For the right patient, Home Sleep Testing can be a great beginning to the evaluation process for sleep rated breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Although having an unattended sleep study at home may be more economical and convenient, there are reasons that Home Sleep Testing may not be appropriate or suggested. Home Sleep Testing is specifically designed to look for obstructive sleep apnea and would not be helpful when trying to evaluate for other, more complex sleep disordered breathing such as central sleep apnea and Cheyne – Stokes respiration. It would also not help in the evaluation of insomnia related sleep disorders, movement disorders, parasomnia disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. It is also not indicated for the pediatric patients.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
The Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) is used to measure how alert you are during the day. This test if often used for people with sleeping disorders that have jobs that involve public transportation or safety professionals. During this test, you will be asked to stay awake for as long as you can during each of the 40 minute trials separated two hours apart throughout the day. Just like the Polysomnogram numerous body functions will be monitored.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test
The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) determines how sleepy you are by measuring how long it takes you to fall asleep and it also measures the type of sleep that you get as well. This test is performed after a full night Polysomnogram and is performed during the day. During this test, you will take four or five 20-minute nap trials scheduled about two hours apart. Between the naps, you must try to stay awake. During this test, just like the Polysomnogram and the CPAP Titration, numerous body functions will be monitored. The most common reason for this procedure is to help rule a suspicion of Narcolepsy and/or the presence of significant hypersomnolence during the day. Falling asleep within 5-10 minutes for the naps may indicate clinically significant hypersomnolence and the presence of REM sleep during 2 of the nap trials may suggest Narcolepsy since REM sleep is generally only seen after 90-120 minutes of sleep, not 20 minutes.
A Polysomnogram is a common overnight sleep test that physicians often prescribe to patients that are suspected to have or are already known to have sleep disorders. The polysomnogram, often called a PSG measures and records activity during sleep. The PSG monitors many body functions including brain activity, chin and leg muscle activity, respiratory airflow, heart rhythm, eye movements, blood oxygen saturation and more during sleep. Polysomnograms are used to diagnose or rule out a wide range of sleeping disorders including sleep disorder breathing issues like sleep apnea, hypersomnia disorders like narcolepsy, circadian rhythm disorders like shift work sleep disorder and delayed sleep phase syndrome, movement disorders like Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, insomnias, parasomnias, and other sleeping disorders. It is important to remember that a polysomnogram is a not a test, but instead a painless, in-depth recording of how well you sleep. The polysomnogram will also reveal the severity of the disorder and give the physician guidance to the proper treatment to prescribe.