For centuries, sleep has been a mystery for the mankind. Thanks to modern science and technology, we’ve been able to decode sleep, and what happens when we lose our touch with the world around.
Dr Himanshu Garg is a globally renowned sleep specialist, who says that a lot happens in our bodies while we sleep. “When you are in your sleep, you cycle between REM and non-REM sleep,” he further adds.
For those who’re new to the sleep world, REM is shorthand for Rapid Eye Movement. And in this phase, our eyes move quickly in different directions. Eyes do not behave this way while in non-REM stages.
The sleep cycle begins with non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep. Dreams normally occur during the REM phase.
Non-REM Sleep comprises three phases, where each phase can last from 5 to 15 minutes.
Phase 1: You’re in a light sleep phase. You can easily be woken up. The phase may last for 5 to 10 minutes.
Phase 2: Your body begins to prepare for deep sleep. Your heart rate slows down and your body temperature drops down.
Phase 3: This is the final stage of NREM. You’re in deep sleep and it’s often hard to wake you up from your sleep. Phase 3 is important since your body repairs the injured tissues, builds new ones, and also strengthens your immune system.
You enter the REM sleep phase 90 minutes after you fall sleep. The first phase may last for about 10 minutes. The following stages tend to be of longer durations; and the final stage of REM sleep may even last for about one hour. Your brain is comparatively very active in REM stage and this is the reason why we mostly dream in REM stage only.
As we age, we tend to lose our share of deep sleep. Aging may also cause shorter time spans of sleep, although we often need as much sleep as when we were younger.
There are over 100 different types of sleep disorders, and they all make life miserable. Therefore you shouldn’t ignore your sleep health and see a sleep specialist if you find difficulty sleeping or experience excessive daytime fatigue or drowsiness.
With the help of a simple test – called sleep study or Polysomnography – the specialist will be able to tell the exact cause behind your sleep problem. Treatments provide huge respite. Say, if you’re diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), you’re most likely to be put on CPAP therapy. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and keeps your upper airway open during your sleep to ensure that you don’t get breathing pauses, and have a good night’s sleep. Other sleep disorders such as parasomnia, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and narcolepsy can also be treated with medications and therapies and life style changes. But, these disorders need to be diagnosed in their early stages for their better management. If left untreated for long, sleep disorders can become chronic, and might even pose danger for your life.
At Sleep Cure Solutions (SCS), we work with patients, their families, and sleep labs and institutions from around the world. For more on sleep disorders, their treatments, sleep study, and sleep study scoring outsourcing, please call us at +91 – 9871162211
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Posted in Patient Information
What is a Sleep Study?
Sleep study is an overnight observation of an individual’s sleep. This involves monitoring number of physiological parameters simultaneously like EEG (brain activity), the eye moments (EOG), the chin tone (EMG), breathing (nasal flow), breathing efforts, Oxygen level, heart rhythm (ECG).
Sleep is not a unitary phenomenon .It is divided into different stages like REM sleep (dreaming sleep) and Non REM sleep which is further subdivided into three stages. The nature has made sleep like an orchestra with different notes at different points and diseases like Sleep Apnea disrupt this rhythm. This can be easily deciphered by a well conducted comprehensive sleep study.
What are different levels (types) of Sleep studies?
There are 4 types –
Level 1 study being the gold standard where are all the above mentioned parameters are observed and attended to by a well-trained sleep technologist and the recordings are scored by scoring technologists and reviewed by Sleep physician who interprets the same and provides with the final diagnosis and recommendation. The Sleep Specialist then discusses the report and advises the next line of treatment.
Level II study is similar to level 1 but not attended by the sleep technologist and therefore there is a possibility of potential loss of data.
Level III study involves monitoring of just two parameters mainly the breathing and the Oxygen level without monitoring the brain activity and the sleep.
Level IV study is only monitoring the Oxygen level overnight.
In most situations Level 1 study is required however sometime the Sleep physician may conduct a simpler test.
What are the different forms of Sleep Studies?
Diagnostic studies – In these only the diagnostic gear is used; this can be level 1 to level IV study.
Titration studies – which involve titration with CPAP or the BiPAP :this can be performed only in level 1 study setting .
Sleep studies are generally conducted in a split night format in which the first part of the night is the Diagnostic arm and in the later half Therapeutic part where titration with CPAP is done. Split night studies are only possible with the level 1 format where a trained sleep technologist will conduct this study under the guidance of a Sleep Specialist.
Sleep study is a very powerful monitoring tool which gives us opportunity to peep into one’s mind and health. It’s utility goes much beyond diagnosing simple Sleep Apnea and extends to diagnosing conditions like periodic limb movement, Sleep architecture problems, Parasomnias, Complex Sleep Apneas, Bruxism, loss of REM Atonia etc.
“Eyes cannot see what our mind does not know” is old saying very apt for the field of Sleep Medicine in the region. Device companies in order to fuel the growth of devices are trivializing the sleep diagnostics pushing vendors to conduct sleep studies in a completely unregulated environment; the quality of these can put any regulator to shame. Nevertheless each patient need to be an empowered consumer and decide for themselves what is best for their health.
Who needs a sleep study:
People complaining of the following symptoms need to be screened for Sleep Apnea and may require a Sleep Study
Author: Dr Himanshu Garg
Posted in Patient Information Tagged with: BiPAP, CPAP, Dr. Himanshu Garg, Insomnia, Integrative Sleep Medicine, SLEEP APNEA, Sleep Deprivation, SLEEP DISORDER, SLEEP STUDY IN INDIA, sleepcure, Snoring, TREATMENT SLEEP APNEA