Sleep Lab, what is it?

This Friday, March 15 is World Sleep Day. So, in honor of that, we will take a look at what a sleep lab is, and why is might be beneficial to you.

How much sleep do you need?

You may think that you can function on very little sleep; that 4-5 hours of sleep a night will be just fine. However, sleeping less than what is recommended adds up over time. Sneaking in a nap or two once in a while is ok, but naps don’t provide all of the benefits of a good night’s sleep. 

The AmericanAcademy of Sleep Medicinerecommends the following amounts of sleep:

Age

Recommended Sleep Hours

Newborns

15-15 hours (8-10 nighttime/4-8 daytime naps)

Infants 4-12 months

12-16 hours (including daytime naps)

Toddlers 1-2 years

11-14 hours (including daytime naps)

Preschoolers 3-5 years

10-13 hours (including daytime naps)

Gradeschoolers 6-12 years

9-12 hours a night

Teens 13-18 years

8-10 hours a night

Adults (including the elderly)

7–8 hours a night

              

What is a sleep study?

Physicians use sleep studies to monitor what a patient is experiencing when they are sleeping. Even though you are in a medical facility being monitored, the sleep lab room will be set up much like a typical hotel room, so that you can fall asleep easily. While you sleep, the technologist will monitor brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, snoring, body movement, and more. 

Should I Visit a Sleep Lab?

If you have tried everything in an effort to get better sleep, but still can’t get a good night’s rest, you might want to discuss your options with your primary care physician. Difficulty sleeping, or insomnia, is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. There are two types of insomnia, primary and secondary. Basically, primary insomnia means that you are having a problem falling asleep/staying asleep but it is not related to another health condition. Secondary insomnia, on the other hand, is caused by an underlying health condition such as sleep apnea, asthma, etc. 

Either way, whatever is causing your issues with sleep, it’s hard to identify them during the day – or when you are awake. That’s where a sleep lab comes in. If you feel that you need to have a sleep study, you can contact our centralized scheduling department to schedule at 419-557-7840. Your primary care physician can fax an order for sleep testing, or you can self-refer for a consultation with one of our board certified sleep physicians. At your consultation the doctor will go over your medical and sleep history and discuss options for testing and treatment. If you have any further questions you can contact the sleep lab staff at 419-557-7740.