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Getting Good Sleep Part 2: Why You Would Need a Sleep Study

A visit to a sleep clinic reveals some new info about how important sleep is, and why some sleep studies can be done at home

This is part 2 of 93WIBC's series on good sleep and why you need it, and how bad sleep can affect your life.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.--"Don't be afraid of the wire," said Dr. Hany Haddad, with Community Health North Sleep Clinic in Indianapolis. He was talking about the way people are wired up for an in-lab sleep study at the clinic. That's where you spend a night with monitors attached to you and technicians watching every movement with cams.

"You can sleep with them. This is personal experience. I had sleep study," said Haddad. "You think all these wires are going to prevent me from going to sleep. But, the amount of sleep is achievable with all these monitoring devices we use."

TWO KINDS OF SLEEP STUDIES:

  • In home-for diagnosing sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder
  • In-lab-for diagnosing more complicated sleep disorders, there are about 100 or so

So, why would you want to put yourself through a sleep study, having the wires attached and the cams looking at you while you sleep? Haddad said it's because the people in the field of sleep medicine have learned just how important sleep is and what could happen when you don't get enough.

"You need sleep. It has a function. And the function is not only to rest your body and your muscle, it's to organize your thought and your memory," said Haddad.

He said that vital organs are also affected when you are not getting good sleep.

"This is the time when the blood pressure should be going down, and that's to cool the pump (speaking of the heart). And if you don't cool down with the pressure during sleep, your hypertension will be more serious and lead to the risk of strokes or future congestive heart failure."

That's why people get sleep studies. 

When you walk in to the sleep clinic, you're met with the soothing sounds of fountains. Once you're upstairs in the clinic, you go to a room that looks much like a modest motel room. The beds are Sleep Number and you can adjust to whatever firmness you're used to.

Then, you get a night's sleep, wired up and watched. The, you get up and go to work and wait for the results of the study to be prepared.

The studies in the past would take three nights of monitoring for different conditions and kinds of data. But that's been curtailed, thanks to technology.

Anne Batson is a nurse practitioner at the clinic. She said that you don't have to be at the clinic to get a study.

"There are sleep studies that can be done at home, and if we're just looking for sleep apnea, which is the most common sleep disorder we see, for most patients they can do their sleep study at home."

"If we are looking for more complicated sleep disorder, an in-lab facility test is the more appropriate way to go," said Batson.

She said that you need a referral from your regular doctor to get a sleep study.

Haddad said that if you think you need a sleep study, you should get one.

"Sleep is not a luxury. You can cheat on your sleep and your boss will not fire you. But, you need that sleep. It has a function."

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