Obstructive Sleep Apnea Snoring Sleep Apnoea
5 Signs You Need to Have a Sleep Study Performed
October 3, 2022
How many times do you hit the snooze button or find yourself having to down cups of coffee to stay alert throughout the day? Feeling constantly exhausted and never well-rested is not normal – you could be suffering from conditions that are affecting your quality of sleep.
This is where a sleep study comes in – it is a type of diagnostic tool used by sleep specialists to determine the causes holding you back from a good night’s rest.
Here is everything you need to know about a sleep study and the telling signs that you need to undergo one. Keep reading to find out more.
What is a sleep study?
It is a comprehensive test you can undergo at a sleep clinic in Singapore and is used to diagnose sleep disorders. During the sleep study, your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, and eye and leg movements will all be recorded and monitored.
Typically performed at night, the sleep study aims to observe your sleep stages and cycles to identify your sleep patterns, as well as why they get disrupted. This helps your sleep specialist understand what causes you to feel tired the next day despite taking a rest, and allows an accurate diagnosis to be made.
The common signs you need to have a sleep study performed
Unsure if you need to undergo a sleep study? Look out for these common signs.
1. Excessive snoring
Snoring is one of the telltale signs you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder which can be potentially dangerous when left untreated. It is a condition in which your breathing starts and stops repeatedly due to throat muscles relaxing or your brain not sending proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Sleep apnea affects people of all ages and the symptoms you need to look out for include loud snoring, gasping for air while sleeping, waking up with a dry mouth, insomnia, and morning headache.
2. Daytime sleepiness
Noticed that you cannot seem to keep your eyes open while at work or enjoy the time when you are awake because you feel sleepy during the day? A sleep study may be necessary to help you find out the underlying causes.
Daytime sleepiness can be a result of sleep disorders like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and parasomnias such as sleep talking and walking. These conditions interrupt your sleep, causing you to feel deprived of rest and extra fatigued in the morning.
3. Lack of concentration
Not being able to concentrate and having memory lapses are not just symptoms of lack of sleep; these are two signs, apart from snoring, that you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
When left untreated, continuous breathing pauses due to sleep apnea can prevent your body from supplying sufficient oxygen to the brain, resulting in brain damage. Memory problems and difficulty focusing will then occur, greatly affecting your quality of life.
It is never too late to seek treatment to prevent further damage even if you are already experiencing issues with your memory or concentration.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in Singapore, with a local reported rate of 15.3%. While factors such as anxiety and stress can contribute to insomnia, it is often closely linked with sleep apnea.
If you find that making lifestyle changes to reduce your stress levels or manage anxiety does not seem to help, getting a sleep study done to analyse if you are suffering from sleep apnea may be beneficial.
A sleep specialist can provide snoring treatments if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Common treatments include prescribing nasal decongestants, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure face mask, or dental devices to help you achieve better quality sleep.
It has been found that people who are obese are more likely to experience insomnia or trouble sleeping, while obesity is also associated with daytime fatigue. Individuals who are overweight are more susceptible to certain medical conditions, such as GERD, osteoarthritis and asthma.
Apart from these conditions, obstructive sleep apnea is also linked to obesity. Those extra pounds increase the chances of sleep apnea due to having more fat tissues around the neck and throat region, resulting in a narrower breathing passageway that can collapse during sleep.
You may wish to undergo a sleep study if you are overweight and experiencing poor sleep quality.
Get a sleep study done in Singapore
Dr Gan Eng Cern is an ENT Specialist in Singapore who treats a wide range of conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, tonsillitis, and rhinitis.
Consult him to find out more about sleep studies and treatment options for your condition.