These days, it seems just about everyone knows the importance of getting enough sleep. Millions of Americans are losing the battle to make more time for sleep, and stringing together 8 hours is just the beginning. Getting to sleep and staying there can really be a puzzle. If you’ve been trying to get more restful sleep and are still feeling the pain of sleep deprivation, you don’t have to go on troubleshooting by yourself. Once you’ve set the stage with a soft, supportive bed and been putting in the hours, you should be seeing signs of improvement. If you’re still a zombie unless you have a constant stream of caffeine, it might be time for a sleep study.

Recognizing the Problem
The number of waking symptoms that can be caused by a lack of sleep is hard to believe. Everything from heart disease and diabetes to depression and anxiety can be blamed on a Vitamin Zzzz deficiency. If you’ve noticed a problem and it seems to keep lingering, start the conversation with your doctor. Some clear indicators that something could be wrong include consistent snoring, feeling tired during the day, difficulty waking up, and complaints from your spouse. Both your health and the wellbeing of your spouse can bear the brunt of a sleep disorder, so it’s crucial to address these issues. Plus, when you proactively improve your rest, you’ll curb conditions that can lead to big medical bills down the road.

What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is simply a test designed to measure how much you’re sleeping, how well you’re sleeping, or how well measures taken to improve your wakefulness are working. If you envision a night spent hooked up to meters and monitors, you’re probably thinking of a Polysomnogram (or PSG). This test, which involves spending the night in a room similar to a hotel room, is the go-to study for identifying a variety of sleep disorders. There are, however, three additional types of studies you might encounter: the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test, and the Home Sleep Test. These other types of studies are often used to supplement the information gained in an overnight PSG. If it’s able to pinpoint a sleep disorder that your doctor is able to treat and resolve, the benefits of your sleep study will far outweigh the time and mild discomfort involved in testing.

See a Sleep Specialist
If you think you have a sleep problem, packing your overnight bag probably won’t be your first step. As with other areas of medicine, there are doctors who specialize in sleep medicine. Once you’ve discussed your concerns with your primary physician, you can ask for a referral to a sleep specialist. Your first visit with a sleep medicine physician will likely include a conversation about your symptoms and sleep history, and you may be asked to keep a sleep diary. To become better informed about your own sleep schedule and symptoms, you can begin keeping this log before your appointment. Once a sleep study has been performed, you can expect results in a week or two. From there, you’ll either be sent for more testing or recommended treatment. With your sleep ailment identified, you’re the only thing standing between your sleep self and snoozing success. Following your doctor’s instructions and complying with therapy are essential to gaining the benefits of great sleep.

Get Set Up for Success
Not every sleep problem is caused by a complex health condition, and the condition of your sleep space is nothing to lose sleep over. Making sure you have a great mattress is an easy way to rule out environmental factors and assess whether a simple change could make a big difference. If you’re suspicious of your sleep-supporting surface, visit our sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore. That goes double for anyone who’s gone through a sleep study, resolved their ailments, and neglected to replace a decade-old mattress!

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