It can be normal to have trouble sleeping from time to time, but if you are having trouble sleeping most nights, you may have a sleep problem. Sleep problems can affect your quality of life, and some can pose a serious threat to your health if left untreated. If you think you might have a sleep problem, discuss your symptoms with your health care provider.
After reviewing your sleep history, your health care provider may advise for a sleep study. Sleep studies are tests that monitor your sleep, either overnight or during a series of naps during the day. These tests are painless and used to diagnose sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or narcolepsy. Sleep studies will help your health care provider determine whether you have a sleep problem and, if so, what the best treatment options are for you.
What are some of the most common signs of sleep problems?
If you have one or more of these signs, you may have a sleep problem. Examples of two common sleep problems are: obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing during sleep due to a narrowed or closed airway, and narcolepsy, a condition in which you experience daytime sleepiness and may fall asleep at unexpected times, such as during work, school, or driving. These and other sleep conditions can cause serious health problems and poor quality of life and need to be properly diagnosed and treated.
Your sleep study will be read by a sleep specialist and a final report will be sent to your health care provider after the study. You should schedule a follow-up visit with your health care provider to discuss the results of your study and any treatment that is needed. If the sleep study shows that you need treatment, your health care provider will advise you what you should do. Your health care provider will order the equipment you need, arrange training on how to use the equipment, and schedule any more tests that may be needed.