A healthy night’s sleep is a fundamental human need. Sleep is important for our physical and emotional health, so we can have the energy we need for ourselves and those we care about. Sleep problems can manifest in different ways. Some people have trouble sleeping, while others feel tired, no matter how long they spend in bed.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is a complex neurophysiological recording conducted as part of an overall evaluation to look at what is happening during sleep. Many things are recorded including brain wave activity (EEG), muscle tone (EMG), heart rate (ECG), breathing patterns, oxygen levels, leg movements and video of abnormal movements and behaviours. In addition these standard recording channels, there are a range of additional recordings that can be added depending upon the clinical problem.
How does a sleep study work?
Sleep studies are conducted in our sleep laboratory, which is a specially constructed facility within St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne, with measures to control noise, light and electrical interference. In the evening, sleep technologists apply recording electrodes, and monitor recordings whilst patients are sleeping.
What happens next?
Once a sleep study has been performed, the data recorded needs to be analysed. This is very time consuming, as during an average sleep study around 1000 pages of information are recorded, and these are looked at page by page to determine the type of sleep and number of events such as breathing problems that occur across the night.
What does my sleep physician do?
The sleep physician’s role is to integrate the data recorded during a sleep study with a patient’s symptoms to make a diagnosis and treatment plan that is suited to the individual patient.
St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne, in conjunction with Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, provides an overnight sleep study service. This service assists in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of sleep disorders including Sleep Apnoea, Restless Legs Syndrome, Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Parasomnias, and unrefreshing sleep.
If you’re not getting the sleep you need, speak to your doctor and call the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre on (03) 9663 1993 to organise an appointment.