Sleep Studies Now Available at LRH
Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) now offers sleep studies to diagnose sleep-related conditions such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that over 12 million have sleep apnea, but that over 10 million remain undiagnosed. Narcolepsy is a much less common sleep disorder according to the NIH, affecting about 150,000 (1 in 2,000) people in the United States.
Sleep studies, also known as polysomnograms, help to diagnose these sleep disorders. A sleep study is a painless test where the person goes to sleep as usual, but they fall asleep in a room in the hospital. During sleep, the person is monitored, recording brain activity, eye movement, muscle activity, breathing and heart rates, how much air moves in and out of the lungs, and the percentage of oxygen in the blood. A physician trained in sleep studies analyzes the results to determine if the patient has a sleep disorder, how severe it is, and what treatment may be recommended. A physician’s order is necessary to receive a sleep study and most insurance plans cover sleep studies.
LRH Director of Clinical Services Jeff Messerole said, “We are happy to offer this service to the community. Snoring and the result of feeling sleepy is caused by a number of factors, and unfortunately, a lot of people think it’s something they just have to accept. However, this is not necessarily true. By having a sleep study, they may be able to determine treatment is available to help them have more energy during the day and quality, restful sleep at night.”
The most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea. It is a serious disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more. These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour, causing the individual to awaken many times during the night and experience problem sleepiness during the day.
People with sleep apnea often have loud snoring, although most of the time they may not be aware they snore. Therefore, a family member and/or bed partner may notice the signs of sleep apnea first. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include choking or gasping during sleep, fighting sleepiness during the day, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, feeling irritable, and being unable to concentrate. Those most likely to have sleep apnea include those who snore loudly, are overweight, have high blood pressure, have a decreased size of the airways in their nose, throat, or mouth, or have a family history of sleep apnea.
For more information or to schedule a sleep study, please talk to your local healthcare provider.