Why Should You Get a Sleep Test?
A good night’s sleep has amazing benefits for your mental, physical, and overall health. During sleep, your body works to restore energy, repair and rejuvenate tissues and bones, boost your immune system, and control hormones that are crucial for growth especially in children.
Most people however, lack the adequate amount of sleep because they have to stay up late to work, study, or attend to social obligations. This means these important functions from happening. For others these sleep complications may be due to a sleep disorder.
What are the Symptoms of Inadequate Sleep?
According to the National Institutes of Health, people who don’t get enough sleep or suffer from chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and snoring find it difficult to perform to their full potential during their daily life.
Sadly, very few realize that they have these sleeping problems until they escalate into something serious such as depression, stroke, or high blood pressure.
That said, let us look at some of the most common symptoms of sleep deprivation:
- Memory and cognitive impairment: Sleep deprivation induces significant reduction in memory and your cognitive ability to process information.
- Headache: Although not terribly common, headaches, tension, and feelings of dizziness can be a consequence of lack of adequate sleep.
- Moodiness and stressful relationships: Research shows that people who are deprived of sleep show less stable patterns of behavior and are more liable to be emotional. In addition, lack of sleep can lead to decreased sexual interest. This can in turn lead to poor relationships with their partners.
- Daytime sleepiness: Sleeplessness could lead to excessive level of daytime sleepiness coupled with fatigue.
- Morning grogginess: If severe enough, morning grogginess can with your arrival to work or school or otherwise affect your quality of life.
- Mental stalling: Poor sleep patterns have been known to cause impair mental function.
Although sleeping requirements may vary from one person to the other based on age, health, and other, it is important that you visit a physician in case you experience any of the above symptoms.
Could Your Sleeping Problem Be Because of Sleep Apnea or Snoring?
Inadequate quantity or quality of sleep may be due to a range of reasons, sleep apnea and snoring among them.
Sleep apnea is a condition that results in the narrowing of the walls of the throat, blocking the upper airway. This results into interrupted or difficulties in breathing causing the brain to wake you up. This can happen several times during the night without you realizing. The result is poor sleep quality and sleepiness during the day.
Snoring can be an indication of sleep apnea but can occur in isolation. It can be the result of several factors:
- Anatomical abnormalities of the nose and throat
- Enlarged tonsils
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated nasal septum
All these factors lead to a narrowing of the throat during sleep causing snoring. Sleeping positions can also trigger snoring.
Dangers of Inadequate Sleep
The effects of inadequate sleep such as fatigue, grumpiness, and poor performance are well known. However, inadequate sleep can also have grave consequences on your overall health.
- Chronic snoring, for example, is linked with an increased occurrence of brain and heart-related illnesses. Chronic snoring affects more than 45 percent of the American population.
- People who drive while tired face the same dangers of driving as those who drive under the influence. In addition, lack of sleep can lead to work place injuries.
- The occurrence of apnea goes hand in hand with asthma and diabetes. More than 20 million Americans are estimated to have some level of obstructive sleep apnea. Many sufferers unfortunately go undiagnosed.
- People with sleep apnea face a higher chance of developing high blood pressure. Effective diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea can lead to substantial reduction in elevated blood pressure and risk of stroke.
Should You Get a Sleep Test?
If you are experiencing sleeping difficulties, your doctor may require that you have a sleep test to evaluate how our body responds to sleep problems. This may be done in a sleep disorder center or at home.
This non-invasive, pain-free procedure also known as a Polysomnogram involves a careful electronic evaluation of specific physical activities of your body while you sleep. A qualified sleep specialist then evaluates the recordings of the sleep test to determine whether you have a sleeping disorder.