Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Sleep Studies do More Then Listen to Snores

Posted by amykr on August 4, 2009

Many people go to the doctor because they have something they want fixed. They expect that a pill will do the trick. What they do not think about is what caused the problem in the first place. It is this search for the reason for problems that send many to the sleep lab for a study.
The obvious patient is the one who snores, gasps and wakes their spouse during the night. We all know or are related to this patient. Uncle Harry fall asleep in the recliner Thanksgiving afternoon, snore louder and louder, suddenly stops and then wake up snorting and gasping just to fall back to sleep again. He also has other health issues.
Then there is the overweight person. However, there weight is actually not what sends them to the sleep lab. It is other symptoms they might have that send them in to the lab. Hypersomnia, or difficulty staying awake, is usually the symptom that sends them to see how they are sleeping at night.
The people who have high blood pressure that is hard to control or unexpected can also send a person to a sleep study. If a person has sleep apnea, every time they stop breathing they put stress on their body and their heart. Eventually this stress can show up as high blood pressure, especially in the morning. Many times this type of blood pressure issue is difficult to control with medication. It is necessary to treat the cause of the issue, the apnea, in order to get the blood pressure under control.
The same problem with blood pressure can show up as uncontrolled blood sugars as well. The stress on the body caused by apnea can cause increases in blood sugars. This is especially true if a person tends to wake with higher then expected blood sugars on a regular basis. The body does not deal well with this type of repeated stress.
There are other conditions that will send a person for a sleep study. If a person has a history of moving around during their sleep especially while dreaming they may come in for a sleep study. That could be a symptom of several different conditions. The only way to diagnose what type of problem they have is through observation and testing.
People with congestive heart, head injuries and neuromuscular conditions may have sleep studies performed to assure that they are breathing well and getting enough oxygen in their sleep. This is so important to the quality of their daily life.
If your doctor orders a sleep study and you are not sure why, ask him or her. There is a good reason it is ordered. If you decide not to have the study your doctor may not be able to fully treat you. Treating a sleep disorder may help you to feel better and feel healthier over the long run.

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