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All Sleep Disorders Do Not Require a Sleep Study

Drowsiness, fatigue, rapid sleep attacks, and daytime sleeping are those factors that make you feel the need for a Polysomnography sleep study.

However, that is not the case often.

Firstly, you should know all the following elements before going for a sleep study. 

1.  What are the symptoms of sleep disorders?

2.   What are the main types of sleep disorders?

3. What is a sleep study?

4.    What are the types of sleep studies?

5.    What are the reasons for a sleep study?

What Are The Symptoms of Sleep Disorder?

 A person with a sleep disorder might have one or more of the following symptoms:

1. Have difficulty memorizing

2. Fall asleep at work or while driving

3. Struggle to stay awake while watching TV or reading a book

4. Difficulty paying attention

5. Needs short naps during the daytime

6. Always look sleepy           

7. Lethargy or inactivity

8. Emotional problems

9. Difficult to focus on work

All these are general symptoms of sleep disorders. However, medical conditions of sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy have severe symptoms.

Types of Sleep Disorders

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a medical condition in which patients find it difficult to fall asleep. Patients with insomnia may face one or more of these:

1. Hard time falling asleep

2. Interrupted sleep

3. Difficulty going back to sleep

4. Not fresh even after getting a good amount of sleep

5. Difficulty waking up early in the morning

6. Faces fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, emotional problems, and focus problems during the daytime due to poor sleep.

 What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is potentially a severe disorder. The symptoms are irregular breathing patterns which, if not treated, may stop regular breathing during sleep or may be fatal.

 Sleep apnea is further classified as: 

●     Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

It is the more common of the two. It happened, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the thoracic cavity is during sleep. Symptoms of OSA may include: 

●     Snoring

●     Fatigue

●     Trouble concentrating.

●     Daytime sleepiness

●     Restlessness during sleep

●     Gasping for air while sleeping 

●     Central sleep apnea

The condition occurs when the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also called Willies Ekbom Disease, causes an unpleasant or uncomfortable sensation in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening and are often more severe at night when a person is resting or lying-in bed. They may also occur when a person is sitting for long periods or is inactive. Since symptoms can increase in severity during the night, it becomes difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep after waking up.

 It is estimated that 5% of the general population and as many as 10% of those over 65 have this disorder. 


It has defined by excessive daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks. Patients often find it difficult to fall asleep, regardless of their situation and circumstances. Narcolepsy may badly affect your life routine.

Changes in rapid eye movement (REM)

REM sleep is a state of sleep where most of the dreaming happens. REM sleep occurs more commonly in people with Narcolepsy. Often, these people transition quickly to REM sleep within 15 minutes of falling asleep.


The hallucinations are also called Parasomnia. They happen as you fall asleep, and you may feel undesired events upon waking. Take this as an example,

You feel as if there is a stranger person in your bedroom. These may be particularly frightening because you begin dreaming and experience your dreams as reality, even when you are not falling asleep.

What is a Sleep Study?

Do you feel tired once you wake up?

Suffer from mild headaches or dry throat?

It all happens probably due to not getting good sleep. Studies conducted to analyze the problem have diagnosed that 25% of adults face the problem of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sleep disorders broadly fall into more than 80 categories, and new researchers are coming up with diagnoses of new sleep disorders. However, every sleep disorder is not alarming and needs a sleep study (Polysomnography). People with mild symptoms of sleep disorders visit a sleep physician. A sleep physician is a board-certified physician with expertise and specialization in sleep studies. As follows, neurologists specialize in the treatment of brain disease; cardiologists are doctors who provide care to heart patients and treat cardiovascular diseases. A sleep physician has extensive research and studies Sometimes, talking with a sleep physician is all you need to diagnose your sleep disorder, and no test is required.

 A sleep test is needed to determine the condition of a patient.

 Types of Sleep Studies

 A sleep study is of two types; one can conduct

  1. at home or
  2. in a laboratory

What is a home sleep test?

Patients feel much better being at home while going through any medical process. A home sleep test leverages a patient to examine their sleep disorder condition at home.

Since a home test is only conducted to diagnose OSA or sleep disorders with minor symptoms, less machinery is required. A patient has to handle only a few pieces of equipment that are easy to use.

 Sleep tests in a laboratory

During a sleep study in a laboratory, one must be admitted for a whole night. This study is called Polysomnogram (PSG). Polysomnogram is a set of comprehensive tests to diagnose sleep disorders.

PSG is associated with many devices to measure heart rate, movement of eyes, movement of legs, and the brain’s activity during a person’s breathing pattern of a person. It comes with a particular monitor called EKG; this monitor is used to record heartbeat and heart rate. 

 Reasons for a sleep study

  • Sleep sickness is a medical condition in which a person cannot sleep soundly; it affects and changes the way of sleeping.
  • They often involve mental and emotional issues. It contributes to worsening mental health.
  • There are many types of problems involved in sleep disorders. They usually are unusual breathing, sleepwalking, excessive sleep during the daytime, obstructive sleep apnea, parasomnias, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome.

Apart from the reasons listed above, a sleep disorder medicine specialist may ask you to go for a sleep study after listening to the symptoms.

Summing up

You don`t need to panic about sleep. You are not tied up in cords with wires with many sensors attached to the body. It might be unnecessary to go through all of this. Sometimes you only need a visit to a board-certified sleep specialist. A sleep physician, upon analyzing your symptoms may or may not ask you for a sleep test.

It might be the case that:

●     You are in uncertain circumstances.

●     You are using certain medications that affect your regular sleeping pattern.

●     You take too many daytime naps

●     You started following a new diet plan

●     You shifted into a new house

So many non-alarming conditions interrupt your sleeping pattern, which fortunately does not need polysomnography.

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