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How a Sleep Disorders Center Can Test Your Breathing

Sleep Disorders CenterAt our sleep disorders center, we are asked a lot of questions about what we do and how we help our patients.  As such, here is what you need to know about a sleep center.

A sleep disorders center can play a vital role in determining why a person is not getting the quality sleep that they need to maintain both physical and mental well being.

The Serious Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
While most of people are aware that their quality of life is greatly influenced by what they eat and the exercise they get, many people still do not realize that the quality and quantity of sleep they get has an equally large part to play.  Although we do not completely understand everything that occurs during sleep, we do know that missing just 30 to 60 minutes of sleep on a regular basis can have a profoundly negative effect on physical health and mental outlook.  Not getting enough sleep reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin thus promoting or exacerbating  type 2 diabetes. Individuals on less than optimal amounts of sleep, tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods which also increases the risk of obesity.  Simultaneously, because sleep deprivation literally alters certain brain patterns, it has been linked to depression, memory lapses, solving problems, making decisions, etc. Additionally, insufficient or poor quality sleep can cause a person to be more susceptible to infections like colds and flu.

Sleep Disorders Center

There are number of reasons a person does not get the sleep they need. Some of the most common being medical, stress, snoring or sleep apnea. However, in order to determine the exact cause, it is often necessary for to undergo a sleep study, usually conducted at a sleep disorders center or using a home testing device.  For example, among other things, a polysomnogram records your brain activity, eye movement, heart and breathing rate,  oxygen levels in the blood, and muscle activity.  This test can be conducted overnight in a sleep lab, or with the portable equipment you use at home. The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) measures how long it take to fall asleep and how quickly and how often you enter the phase called REM (Rapid Eye Movement). It also measures how quickly you fall asleep during the day.

If you go to a sleep lab, on the night your sleep patterns are to be analyzed, electrodes that record electronic signals will be placed on you scalp and face. Straps that measure your breathing will be placed on your chest, and a device that measures oxygen in the blood will be placed on your finger.  All the recordings  will be monitored by technicians in an adjoining area who can analyze what happens to your body while you are sleeping, and if you are experiencing any difficulty with a particular stage of sleep.

In our sleep disorders center, we often recommend using a home device instead.  Many of our patients prefer this because it can be more comfortable, and you get to sleep in your own bed. We, however, will remain in our clinic and review the test results the next day when you bring in the report.  Both tests will demonstrate what is happening with your breathing at night, so it is really a matter of personal preference.  Afterward, we will make a recommendation for how you can begin to breathe better at night.

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