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Sleep Laboratory (Polysomnography)

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Sleep Laboratory (Polysomnography)

If your doctor recommends a sleep lab appointment, you may be wondering what is
included in this test and what to expect.

Sleep labs help doctors diagnose sleep disorders such as
sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless leg
syndrome, insomnia, sleepwalking, and REM sleep behavior disorder. Often these
disorders are not detected by a regular office visit, so your doctor needs to
collect more precise evidence while you are asleep.

Sleep and sleep disorders

Sleeping disorders include problems with the quality,
duration, and amount of sleep, which causes daytime troubles and problems with
body function. Medical conditions that develop due to sleep disorders often
occur in conjunction with other mental health conditions such as depression,
anxiety, or cognitive impairments.

Sleep disorders are linked to both physiological and
psychological problems. Sleep difficulties can both contribute to and worsen
mental health conditions and can be a symptom of other mental health

Signs of sleep disorders

The asleep disorder can show itself in many different
ways, and if you have even one of the following sentences, you should make an
appointment with the relevant doctor immediately;

I am constantly tired during the day, I want to sleep, I cannot feel rested.

I have difficulty falling asleep at night, I sleep for a few hours only.

I wake up at night with a splash.

I constantly have nightmares in sleep, I speak.

My bedmate says I snore in sleep and can’t breathe from time to time.

I often wake up from night sleep.

I feel like I haven’t slept well at night even though I’ve slept for hours.

I can fall asleep in meetings, while reading, or watching TV.

I wake up tired and with a headache in the morning.

Causes of sleep disorders

Difficulty in falling asleep and waking up constantly is
an important problem seen in one out of every three people in society.
Psychological factors such as stress, adjustment disorders, and lifestyle (high
caffeine consumption, shift work, night exercise, etc.) are the most common
causes of sleep disorders. When the cause of insomnia is not found and treated,
both psychological and physical disorders affect the quality of life negatively.

Many medical problems can disrupt sleep and cause people to complain of insomnia. Treating
medical illness can also treat insomnia.

Psychiatric problems

Psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety may
cause a desire to sleep and as well as insomnia problems. Some drugs used in
the treatment of psychiatric disorders can also cause insomnia or, conversely,
the desire to sleep a lot. With the correct medical history taken from the
patient, when the correct medication is selected, the sleep problem can be
treated within 1 month.

Sleep-related breathing disorder

Daytime fatigue, night snoring, and sleep partner
noticing that the patient is unable to breathe occasionally are the most common
symptoms of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep.
This situation can awaken the person dozens or even hundreds of times during
the night.

The time that breathing stops can be as short as 10
seconds. Most patients do not remember waking up. A sleep test is required to
diagnose sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea often benefit from a treatment
called positive airway pressure. This treatment keeps the airway open by giving
air pressure through a mask worn on the nose during sleep. If left untreated,
sleep apnea affects the health of many organs, especially the brain and heart.
But thanks to the sleep laboratories, it can be diagnosed and treated.

Restless leg syndrome

It is a syndrome that causes numbness, feeling of
pressure, pain, and restlessness in the legs during sleep or rest. After
investigating metabolic disorders such as underlying anemia and kidney failure,
medical treatment is given to many patients with almost complete improvements.
Thus, the patient has a high-quality sleep.

Periodic leg movements

Periodic leg movements are short muscle contractions
during sleep. The contractions can cause leg jumps for one to two seconds.
These movements cause hundreds of short interruptions in sleep and restless
sleep each night. Treatment includes medications, evening exercises, hot baths,
or a combination of these.

Gastroesophageal reflux

During sleep, stomach contents may return to the throat.
This situation awakens the patient many times during the night. During sleep,
more reflux occurs due to less swallowing and the lying position. If you have
such a problem, try elevating your head with multiple pillows. You can also
lift the head of the bed 15-20 cm. Medication that treats reflux is also an


Excessive caffeine consumption, alcohol intake, night-shift,
and exercise before bedtime can reduce sleep quality.

Sleep labs are a vital diagnostic tool for many sleep
disorders. It is also necessary to monitor how effective the treatment is after
diagnosis. Thereby, the doctor can manage the treatment plan.

Treatment for the sleep disorder

The cause of the sleep disorder must first be diagnosed.

Medical treatments can be applied. However, sleeping pills can sometimes mask or increase the
problems caused by other diseases. The appropriate treatment method is
determined by the doctor according to a detailed medical history of the
patient. Many sleeping pills are available, including some over-the-counter
medications. It is not right to use self-medication without consulting your

Apart from medication, it is also useful to keep the airway open by giving air pressure
with a mask worn on the nose for sleep apnea or to apply the rules called sleep
hygiene for all sleep problems.

Sleep lab

In the laboratory, which has special equipment in the
diagnosis of sleep diseases, guiding instruments are used to investigate and
determine the causes of sleep disorders and to start appropriate treatment.

Polysomnographic recordings in the sleep laboratory
provide the most basic data. Many test methods are used in the records used
during polysomnographic examinations.

1) EEG (Electroanselograph)

During the night’s sleep, the EEG records the person’s
sleep-wake periods and sleep stages.

2) EOG (Electro-oculograph)

It records the eye movements during sleep.

3) EMG (Electromyography)

During sleep, the periods in which the muscles are
contracted or relaxed are determined.

4) Pulse oximeter

It allows us to access information such as the periods
and the number of periods in which blood circulation decreases during sleep,
their duration, and depth.

5) ECG

It records parameters such as heart rhythm and heart rate
and provides a comparison with standard data.

6) Airflow measurement

With this measurement, the depth and order of breathing
exchanges are followed and breathing pauses are determined. Records showing
whether the patient is breathing through the abdomen or chest, and episodes of
inability to breathe in some periods can be obtained.

7) Leg movements are monitored, recorded, and evaluated.

By recording all these parameters during sleep, a
comprehensive evaluation is made and important information is obtained in the
diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

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Reyap Hospital develops continuously with a team that values people, respects its patients and employees, adheres to ethical rules, and volunteers for innovations. In line with our mission and vision, we work diligently to reach our goals and provide you with the highest quality service.

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