A Sleep disorder, or somnipathy, is a medical disorder that affects the sleep patterns of a person.  Many sleep disorders cannot be diagnosed with a blood test, and require a special test for diagnosis. 

What is a sleep study?

Sleep studies allow doctors to measure how much and how well you sleep. They also help show whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is.

Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions. Sleep disorders also have been linked to an increased risk of injury due to falls and car accidents.

People usually aren't aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. They may never think to talk to their doctors about sleep- and health-related issues that may be linked to sleep problems.

Doctors can diagnose some sleep disorders by asking questions about your sleep schedule and habits and by getting information from sleep partners or parents. To diagnose other sleep disorders, doctors also use the results from sleep studies and other medical tests.

Sleep studies can help doctors diagnose:

  • Sleep-related breathing disorders (such as sleep apnea)
  • Sleep-related seizure disorders
  • Narcolepsy

What are some common sleep studies?

Some common diagnostic sleep studies include:

  • Polysomnogram
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
  • Maintence of wakefulness test
  • Home-based portable monitor
  • Actigraphy

Reference: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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