It isn’t uncommon for sleeping problems to remain hidden because the symptoms become a part of the person’s daily life. Chronic fatigue and tiredness are not necessarily normal, and if you’re experiencing these things repeatedly it might be time to talk to a specialist. If they suggest a polysomnography (sleep study) you may be able to uncover hidden sleeping disorders that are causing unknown problems. Different types of insomnia manifest in all kinds of symptoms including reducing the quality of sleep. Losing the quality of one’s sleep is very hard to observe and can go unnoticed for years.
Measuring the Brain
The most powerful tool during a sleep study is an EEG reading. Measuring the levels of brain activity as they fluctuate up and down through the night leads to a complete picture of a patient’s sleep pattern. Knowing the amount of time spent in each stage of sleep and how often transitions are made can lead to the diagnosis of a sleep disorder. Many disorders are based on the interruption of a certain stage of sleep and can be easily identified using these methods.
Readings from the brain will help doctors pinpoint the transitions between NREM and REM sleep. Rapid eye movement sleep is an especially restorative stage of a sleep pattern. It makes up a very small percentage of our total sleep and can cause problems if it is interrupted too often.
The behavior of the body during periods REM sleep is very different and easily notable. Breathing and heart rate become much more uneven and there are high amounts of activity in certain regions of the brain. It is during this stage that most people will experience their most vivid dreams. REM sleep is considered extremely important for it’s part in the body’s total restoration, so it can be a very big problem if a person isn’t getting enough REM sleep. A sleep study can reveal problematic disruptions that might be making it impossible for someone to get enough REM sleep.
Helpful measurements of the brain activity can lead to effective and immediate diagnosis of sleeping disorders. The information gathered from the brain can help pinpoint the type and cause of sleeping problem. One disorder that is very hard to identify is central sleep apnea. What causes central sleep apnea is not a blockage, but rather a neurological problem with the signals that tell the body to breathe. Careful examination of the results of a sleep study are one of the best ways to identify this kind of disorder.