Sleep problems are vastly common. For instance, sleep apnea affects 25 percent of the adult population, and insomnia affects up to one-third of individuals at a given time. But you don’t have to live with sleep problems as a part of your life. The problem simply needs to be diagnosed and treated, just as other health issues that arise.
A sleep study is a painless series of tests performed in an overnight setting that evaluate an individual's sleep patterns to determine if they have a sleep disorder that can be addressed. The type of test used to evaluate the patient depends on the type of sleep problem the individual is having, but the tests are generally similar.
A patient is hooked up with various electrodes that measure brain wave activity, which allows us to determine if the patient is asleep or awake and what stage of sleep they are in. The patient then goes to sleep normally and the test begins. If the patient wakes up or has difficulty sleeping, the study helps determine why.
After the study is over, the individual leaves the sleep center the next morning. The study is read by one of Martha Jefferson’s fellowship-trained sleep medicine experts, who then follow up with the patient in the sleep medicine clinic.