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What Are Sleep Studies

What Are Sleep Studies?

Sleep studies allow doctors to measure how much and how well you sleep. They also help show whether you have sleep problems and how severe they are.

Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions. People usually aren't aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. They may never think to talk to their doctors about sleep- and health-related issues that may be linked to sleep problems.

Doctors can diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Talk to your doctor if you feel tired or very sleepy while at work or school most days of the week. You also may want to talk to your doctor if you often have trouble falling or staying asleep, or if you wake up too early and aren't able to get back to sleep. These are common signs of a sleep disorder.

Doctors can diagnose some sleep disorders by asking questions about your sleep schedule and habits and by getting information from sleep partners or parents. To diagnose other sleep disorders, doctors also use the results from sleep studies and other medical tests.

Sleep studies can help doctors diagnose:
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders (such as sleep apnea)
  • Sleep-related seizure disorders
  • Parasomnias (such as sleepwalking)
  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Circadian (ser-KA-de-an) rhythm disorders.