Guide to Sleep Labs and their Function
Since most people are unaware of this craze, let me spend a brief time to explain what a sleep lab is.
It is typically a room where it is equipped with electronic electrodes that a clinician or technologist attaches, one on your head, two on each leg, two on your chest to see the heart rate. It also has two sensors in your nose monitoring airflow, a band around your chest and one around the abdomen, an oximeter which measure your blood oxygen on your finger and one your neck, a microphone to monitor sound.
The reason for all these contraptions is simply to study your sleep. Losing a few hours of sleep is actually a big deal and you may have been losing sleep for many years now. What really is the big deal if you lose sleep?
There are three sleep disorders that might be causing you to feel tired all the time. The causes of these sleeping disorders are many and there is a need to properly diagnose it so that the root can be treated or else it can lead to further disorders. There are various treatments to cure sleep disorder but this will all depend on the diagnosis. The following are the most common types of sleep disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, parasomnias, and snoring.
If you are going to a sleep study session, there are some things you need to do to prepare for it. When you go to a sleep study, you need to have clean hair with no hair sprays, gel, oils, etc. It also means packing an overnight bag, as you would for a stay at a hotel. Snacks are allowed if you are used to taking one before sleeping, but your are only limited to one cup of caffeine and is no longer allowed after two in the afternoon. You also have to avoid alcohol on the day of the study and be ready to spell out to your clinician if you are taking any medications. Another important thing to bring along is that if you have a favorite pillow, you may want to bring it with you also.
One thing you will realize is that sleeping in the center is not exactly the same as sleeping at home. It might take you longer to fall asleep and as many patients have reported the quality of their sleep is not as sound as that they have at home. Being conscious of those contraptions and a monitoring device may often be the reason for this. However, this usually does not interfere with getting an accurate information from your sleep study.
In order to overcome this consciousness, you should take your mind off these mechanisms and focus on bringing your body in a most comfortable position for sleeping, and in case you are not feeling comfortable, you should let the technician know about it because they can easily adjust the monitor positions.
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