What is a Sleep Study?
This study is also called a polysomnogram. It's purpose is to test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders. The process includes charting your brain waves, heart beat, and breathing as you sleep. It also recorded your eye and leg movements and muscle tension. Sensors are placed on your head, face, chest and legs and tiny electrical signals are sent to a computer. These signals show when you are asleep and awake during the night. The brain-wave and eye-movement detectors show when you are in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This is a stage of sleep where your eyes twitch and your brain waves are at it's lowest frequency. It is also the stage of sleep when you have most of your dreams. The breathing monitors show the number of times you stop breathing. They can also detect low air flow and minor changes in oxygen level. The leg sensors show both minor twitches and major movements that occur during the night. A clip is also placed on your finds to note changes in the level of oxygen in your blood.
What We Test For
Sleep apnea can be deadly. It causes a rise in blood pressure and can lead to strokes. It has been linked to numerous cases of cardiovascular death in the Bahamas. The disturbed sleep causes the sufferer to be irritable and have problems with concentration. He or she may wake up with a dull headache and feel groggy and sleepy all day. Apnea episodes (when the sleeper stops breathing) can last 10 seconds or more and can occur hundreds of times every night. This may cause the sleeper to awaken gasping for breath many times during the night. He doesn't get the deep sleep he needs. However, in addition to fragmented sleep, the apnea causes the oxygen levels in the blood to drop to a dangerous low while carbon dioxide levels rise.
This causes cardiac arrhythmia and can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes.