Signs of Sleep Disorder and How to Diagnose
What are sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders refer to a group of conditions that affect overall health and quality, timing, or duration of sleep. Sleep disorder affects a person’s ability to properly function while they are awake. These disorders can contribute to several medical problems, and some may also be a symptom of underlying mental health issues. Some of the signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder include excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep.
Most people experience sleep disorder occasionally due to stress, hectic schedules, and other outside influences. However, if these issues begin to occur regularly and interfere with daily life, they may indicate a sleeping disorder.
Signs of Sleep Disorder
If you’re wondering whether you or a loved one may need a sleep test, look out for these signs.
- Lack of Concentration
The brain and the entire body require sleep to thrive. Sleep allows the brain to repair damaged cells. The space between the brain cells grows larger while a person sleeps, to allow for clearing and repairing the brain.
- Irritability or Anxiety
Lack of sleep can impact your mood and even work performance. It can also put a strain on relationships due to the irritability caused by a lack of sleep.
- Strong Urge to Take Naps During the Day
It’s normal to enjoy an afternoon nap every now and then, but if a nap is needed every day to function it’s likely because you aren’t getting a proper amount of sleep each night. In this case, a nap isn’t helping to remedy the tiredness.
Often, the first obvious sign of a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is snoring. OSA is a common sleep-related breathing disorder that frequently goes undiagnosed. People with sleep apnea tend to snore loudly with periods of silence as breathing stops. When they resume breathing, it can sound like gasping or snorting.
- Trouble Falling or Remaining Asleep
Although it may seem obvious, many people do not recognize that their inability to do this means they may have a sleeping disorder. It often gets brushed off as something else that they believe they can change on their own without medical treatment.
Depression and sleep disorders can be difficult to understand. Sometimes the sleep disorder can cause depression and vice versa. Research shows that a person is ten times more likely to develop depression if they have an untreated sleep disorder.
How Are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?
If a sleep disorder is suspected, your health care provider may refer you to a sleep clinic for an evaluation by sleep specialists. A sleep specialist will use a variety of information to evaluate your sleep problem. It may include a detailed history, medication history, physical exam, sleep diary, sleep study and other testing. They may also order various tests, including:
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam and gather information about your symptoms and medical history. They may also order various tests, including:
- Polysomnography (PSG): This is a lab sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep vs. home sleep study (HST) that is performed on your own and is used to diagnose sleep apnea.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG): This is a test that assesses the electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity. It’s part of polysomnography.
- Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT): This daytime napping study is used in conjunction with a PSG at night to help diagnose narcolepsy.
These tests can be crucial in determining the right course of treatment for sleep disorders.
Diagnosis at Bansal Diagnostic Centre
Our diagnostic centre is at the forefront of the diagnosis and treatment of people with sleep and related psychological or medical disorders. At 14, Samriddhi Park, our consultant-led team utilise state of the art technology to promptly investigate and treat sleep-related concerns from insomnia to obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).