Sleep Studies Can Diagnose Various Sleep Disorders

An inability to sleep can have many adverse health consequences. When the cause for your wakefulness is not apparent, a sleep doctor Houston TX may determine that one of the following medical reasons is the cause.

Sleep Apnea

Muscles at the back of the throat can relax abnormally during sleep, causing breathing to start and stop. Doctors can prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure machine to keep airways open.


Extreme daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep episodes are symptoms of this genetic disorder. Treatment for narcolepsy frequently involves stimulants to increase heart rate and blood pressure, anti-depressants to inhibit REM sleep, and other drugs.

Parasomnia Events

Disturbances and unwanted events occurring during sleep include sleepwalking, waking suddenly with intense fear, confusion upon awakening, paralysis upon falling asleep or waking up, and sudden aggressive movements. Drugs can be useful for treating parasomnias. Lifestyle and behavioral therapies may also reduce symptoms.

Understanding a Sleep Study

Sleep studies occur overnight in sleep labs or hospitals. They may vary depending upon the type of disorder a doctor suspects and are necessary to monitor the brain and body during sleep. EEG monitors collect information including sleep cycle length, heart and breathing rates, eye and body movements, and oxygen blood levels.

A doctor who suspects a sleep disorder may order one or more diagnostic tests, including polysomnography and CPAP titration for sleep apnea, multiple sleep latency for narcolepsy, and both polysomnography and CPAP titration for sleep apnea. A Maintenance of Wakefulness Test measures a patient’s alertness and ability to remain awake during the day and can diagnose narcolepsy.

Preparation for a sleep study might involve discontinuation of some medications and typically requires a patient to avoid caffeine.

Routine activities are allowable and testing is usually comfortable.

Sleep doctors can order various tests to diagnose a sleep disorder and help you get the restful sleep your body needs.

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