Diagnostic Sleep Lab

Do you sleep like a log? When you wake up, do you feel like a log? You may not be getting a good's night sleep.

At least 40 million Americans experience chronic long-term sleep disorders every year, and 20 million more experience occasional sleep problems. Sleep disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation interfere with work, driving, and social activities.

Medical professionals have identified up to 150 reasons for different sleep disorders. Most of them can be managed successfully once they are diagnosed. The most common sleep disorders are: insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. Sleep disorders are very common conditions that can be overcome. It is important to understand what affects sleep and the importance of sleep. Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, being overweight, can all affect the way you sleep while having an impact on your physical and mental health.

For example, people do not successfully adapt to sleeping less than necessary. Although people can get used to a sleep-deprived schedule, their judgment, reaction time, and other functions will be impaired.

Many studies show that sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people, who are tested with a driving simulator or hand-eye coordination tasks, perform as poorly or worse than people who are intoxicated.

Driver drowsiness is responsible for around 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration.

Depression can be linked to a lack of REM sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is dream sleep. Everyone should have REM about 90-120 minutes at night. If there is a sleep disorder that is disrupting your ability to get into your REM period, this can cause depression.

The immune system and memory can also be affected by sleep deprivation.

Patients should discuss their concerns for poor sleep efficiency with their physician because the symptoms of insomnia or sleep apnea could be caused by too much caffeine, use of antidepressants or mood altering drugs, other medications, poor sleep habits, stress, shift work, etc. These possible causes should be ruled out by physicians prior to sleep studies, if possible.

Having a formal sleep study can help put you on the road to recovery. The purpose of the sleep study is to diagnose and treat you if you have a sleep disorder. The goal is to get your sleep cycles back to normal.

The Cardiopulmonary Services Department at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital in Thermopolis Wyoming has designed a sleep lab for just such a purpose. For scheduling information, contact Cardiopulmonary Services at 307 864-5064 or 1-800-788-9459. Get that good night's sleep you've been dreaming about.

Take the Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test