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Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

This article contains information about the process for having your sleep evaluated. What should you be ready to tell your doctor? What tests should you expect? It includes details about: sleep diaries, actigraphy, overnight oximetry, polysomnography, at-home studies, and multiple sleep latency testing.

Diagnostic Tests for Insomnia
Aside from a carefully taken history and physical examination by a sleep specialist, there additionally are certain insomnia tests that may be used to diagnose the condition. Learn about how polysomnography, MSLT, and actigraphy may clarify the diagnosis.

Excessive Sleepiness Can Be Quantified by Maintenance of Wakefulness …
Learn about the maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT), which can be used to quantify the degree of excessive sleepiness that may be present in sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Use a Sleep Log to Diagnose Sleep Problems
If you are evaluated by a sleep specialist, it may be recommended that you record your sleep patterns with a sleep log. But how is a sleep log used to diagnose sleep problems? Learn about this simple technique to identify important sleep problems, including circadian rhythm disorders and poor sleep habits that may cause insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Overnight Oximetry Is a Commonly Used Screening Test
Learn about one of the most common initial screening tests for sleep disorders called overnight oximetry.

What is MSLT?
MSLT, or multiple sleep latency testing, is one of the less common potential sleep studies, but may still be an important diagnostic tool.

Using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to Assess Sleepiness
The Epworth sleepiness scale is a questionnaire that is commonly used to screen for sleepiness and may be useful in monitoring response to treatment of various sleep disorders.

Sleep Study - What Was Your Sleep Study Like
So your doctor recommends you undergo a sleep study, but what should you expect? Many people often have some anxiety about the experience. If you have already had a sleep study, share what the experience was like for you. Do you have any advice for others? If you are waiting for a study, what are some of the fears or concerns that you have about it?

Diagnostic Tests for Sleep Disorders
For those who suffer from the ill effects of sleep disorders, there are many diagnostic tests available that may lead to a better understanding of what the problem may be. Learn what the various options are, including: overnight oximetry, polysomnography, multiple sleep latency testing, and actigraphy.

Overview of Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
There are many common symptoms that may suggest the presence of a sleep disorder. Some of these symptoms, such as fatigue, may also occur with other medical disorders. In addition, each sleep disorder may have specific symptoms unique to it.

Is Heart Rate Analysis a Future Alternative to a Standard Sleep Study?
The diagnosis of sleep disorders may profoundly change if researchers are able to perfect a technique of simply monitoring the heart rate. It may represent a future alternative to a standard sleep study, but it is unable to replace these studies anytime soon.

What to Expect in a Sleep Study
So your doctor recommends you undergo a sleep study, but what should you expect? Though you may have some anxiety about the experience, take a few moments, and lay those fears to rest.

Interactive Sleep Quiz
Test your knowledge of sleep with this 10-question quiz from the National Institutes of Health.

Sleepiness Scale
How sleepy are you? Provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this scale is often used to assess how sleepy someone is during day. Higher scores may indicate an excessive level of daytime sleepiness, and suggest that you should be evaluated by a doctor.

NIH Sleep Disorders
Explore the fascinating world of sleep disorders on one of the best websites for information, provided by the National Institutes of Health.

What are Sleep Studies?
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides a detailed summary of what to expect during a sleep study.

Locate a Sleep Center
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine provides a helpful way to find some of the sleep centers that are closest to you.

Diagnosis of Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a rare disease that causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Learn a little about what narcolepsy is and the standard tests used to diagnose it.

What Is AHI?
If you have a sleep study such as a polysomnogram, you may receive a report from your doctor that describes the severity of your sleep apnea according to an AHI, but what is the AHI? Learn about the apnea-hypopnea index and what it might mean to your overall health and response to treatment with CPAP.

What to Expect in an MRI
Learning that you need to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can be intimidating. Although rarely needed to evaluate sleep disorders, it may be used to assess stroke (a potential cause of central sleep apnea) or even epilepsy (which may cause nocturnal seizures). Here's what to expect.

10 Common Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
There are many potential symptoms of sleep disorders, some of them expected but others surprising. These may include excessive sleepiness or an inability to sleep, uncontrolled movements, and even mood problems. Learn about ten of these symptoms and the underlying conditions that they may represent.

How to Choose a Sleep Doctor
If you are having difficulties sleeping, you may need a referral to a sleep specialist, but how should you choose a sleep doctor? There are certain characteristics that you should consider when selecting a specialist so that you get the appropriate testing and help that you need.

Sleep Specialist Opinions - What Do You Like or Dislike About Your Sleep...
If you have been evaluated for a sleep disorder, you no doubt have specific opinions about what you like or dislike about your sleep specialist. What made them a help or a hindrance? How could they have better met your needs? What advice can you share about choosing a specialist? Share your experience with others so that they may learn from it.

Using BEARS Questions to Assess Whether Your Child Has a Sleep Disorder

It may be hard to tell if your child has a sleep disorder, but there are some questions that may be helpful to assess whether a problem exists. These can be remembered with the simple mnemonic "BEARS" and can help to identify any sleep disorders that may be present.


Sleep Diaries in Children
Sleep Diaries Children - The Use of Sleep Diaries in Children

Polysomnography in Children
Learn more about the use of polysomnography in children.

MSLT in Children
Learn more about the use of MSLT in children.

What Is Actigraphy?
There are many potential ways to evaluate sleep, and one of the least intrusive, actigraphy monitoring, can be used to assess sleep at home with a device called an actigraph. Learn more about actigraphy.

How Sleep Studies Differ in Children
The investigation of sleep disorders in children is similar to that of adults, but there are a handful of important differences, and how sleep studies differ in children has important implications in both the administration and interpretation of these tests. Learn more about sleep studies in children.

10 Signs Your Child May Have a Sleep Problem
From snoring, bedwetting, and unusual movements in sleep to mood problems or hyperactivity during the day, the outcomes of child sleep problems may be diverse.

Actigraphy in Children
Learn more about the use of actigraphy in children.

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?
If you are interested in promoting the health and well-being of your children, you may wonder: How much sleep do kids need? Learn how much sleep your children need, from newborn infants to school-aged kids.

How Much Sleep Does a Toddler Need?
The sleep needs of toddlers departs from the sporadic, disruptive sleep of infants and begins to transition to the sleep patterns of younger children, but how much sleep does a toddler need? Learn about the sleep needs of toddlers.

How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?
If you are a parent, you may question: How much sleep do babies need? Luckily babies will sleep as much as they need to, but as a parent it may help you to understand average sleep needs to guide your expectations.

How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need?
If you are a proud new parent, you are likely a little sleep-deprived yourself and you may be wondering: How much sleep do newborns need? Find out and rest a little easier.

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?
The sleep needs of children change as they develop and grow, so you may wonder: How much sleep do children need? From infancy through grade school, discover how much sleep your child needs as he or she grows.

How Much Sleep Is Too Much Sleep?
Although most people should be concerned about not sleeping enough, you may wonder: how much sleep is too much sleep?

Definition of Sleep Deprivation
Learn the definition of sleep deprivation.

How Much Sleep Do 2-Year-Olds Need?
There is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child -- especially when he or she may be a rambunctious toddler while awake -- but how much sleep do 2-year-olds need? Learn about the sleep needs of children of this age.

How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Need?
Whether you are a parent or a teenager, you may be wondering: how much sleep do teenagers need? Learn more.

How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?
If you experience excessive daytime sleepiness, you may not be getting enough sleep, but just how much sleep do adults need?

Definition of Sleep Spindle
Learn the definition of sleep spindle.

Definition of K-complex
Learn the definition of K-complex.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation?

The Diagnosis of Insomnia
If you suffer from difficulties falling or staying asleep, you may wonder if you have insomnia. How is insomnia diagnosed? Is it necessary to have any tests? Learn about the diagnosis of insomnia.

When Its Not Insomnia: Short Duration Sleep and Sleep Restriction
If you hardly spend any time in bed, is this insomnia? Could it be that you have shortened sleep needs? What if you restrict the amount of time you spend in bed but you suffer from sleep deprivation? Explore when it's not insomnia and what these scenarios might alternatively represent.

Testing for Insomnia
It is sometimes necessary to undergo further testing to distinguish insomnia from other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. This may be even more necessary if your insomnia is not responding to standard treatments. What testing should be done for insomnia? Learn about the assessments that might help to diagnose your...

What Is a Sleep Lab?
If you have been referred to a center to have a sleep study, you may wonder: what is a sleep lab? Though it may sound like a research facility, learn what a sleep lab is and how it might lead to the diagnosis of your sleep problem.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
What are the risk factors that increase your chances of having sleep apnea? How do you know if you are at risk? If you are at higher risk for sleep apnea, is there anything you can do to change this? Learn about the risk factors for sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
What are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea? Is it possible that some of your health problems may be due to this condition? Learn about the various symptoms of sleep apnea.

Why Can I Sleep?
Why can I sleep? If you compare your ability to sleep with others, you might conclude that you have an easier time of it. Rather than having insomnia, you may have no problem sleeping at all. What determines our ability to sleep? Learn about sleep needs, circadian rhythms, and whether your ability to sleep might suggest a sleep disorder.

What Is a Spinal Tap?
What is a spinal tap or lumbar puncture? How can a spinal tap provide important information to diagnose your medical condition? Are there risks or complications related to the procedure? Learn more about the spinal tap and its usefulness in diagnosis.

What Is a Sleep Clinic?
What is a sleep clinic? If you have trouble sleeping, discover how a sleep clinic may meet your needs in finding the proper diagnosis and treatment with the help of a specialist. Also learn how to find a sleep clinic that is near you.

Diagnosis of Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
How is obesity hypoventilation syndrome diagnosed? It is important to undergo further tests to rule out other causes of difficulty breathing that characterize this condition. This testing will carefully evaluate the function of your heart and lungs. A key element is also the evaluation of your sleep. Learn about the diagnosis of obesity...

What Is a Sleep Tech?
What is a sleep tech? Learn about the career of a sleep technologist and how they are integral to conducting overnight sleep studies and the review of the data used to diagnose sleep disorders. What sort of training is required? What is the average salary? Is this the right job for you?

10 Surprising Signs of Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea may affect children in some surprising ways. Consider some of the signs of sleep apnea in children, including: sleepwalking, teeth grinding, bedwetting, sweating, restless sleep, snoring, growth problems, naps, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and mouth breathing.

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