What are Sleep Labs
Since most people are unaware of this craze, let me spend a brief time to explain what a sleep lab is.
A sleep lab is basically a room with equipment such as electronic electrodes which a technologist attaches, one on your head, two on each leg, and two on your chest for checking the heart rate. There are other things connected to the body like two sensors in your nose which monitor the airflow, a band around your chest and also on your abdomen, an oximeter for measuring blood oxygen on your finger and to monitor sound, a microphone on your neck.
The clinicians are studying your sleep and that is why all these contraptions are attached to your body. 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. Treatment vary depending on the diagnosis. The following are the most common types of sleep disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, parasomnias, and snoring.
There are, however, a number of things you can do to prepare for the sleep study. It includes arriving with clean hair which means no hair sprays, oils, gels and etc. You need to prepare an overnight bag as if you would stay in a hotel. If you are used to having a snack before bedtime, then you can bring some snacks, but your caffeine should be limited to one cup in the morning and after two in the afternoon, you should stop taking it. You should not take any alcohol on the day of the study, and if you are taking any medications, your clinician should be informed about it. Another important thing to bring along is that if you have a favorite pillow, you may want to bring it with you also.
Another thing that you have to take note is that sleep in the center is never quite the same as sleeping at home. Falling asleep in the center may be difficult and you might not be able to sleep as soundly as you do at home, as some patients have reported. And the reason for this is due to the contraptions and monitoring devices attached to your body. Despite this, it is said that it does not really hinder the accuracy of information from your sleep study.
To overcome this consciousness, it is important for the patient not to mind all of these attached mechanisms and focus on bringing your body to a position that you are comfortable in and let the technician know if anything is uncomfortable as there is often some flexibility in the positioning of the monitors.
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