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Is a Sleep Study Right for You?

sleep study

Many things can stand in the way of a good night’s sleep. Work and family stressors, digital stimulation and personal health issues can all lead to not feeling refreshed in the morning. Getting to the bottom of exactly what is impacting your sleep is the first step to solving the problem and Stasia Wieber, MD, director, Northeast Medical Group Sleep Center, advises some patients to get a sleep study. 

“Sleep studies can give us a great look into the kind of sleep a patient is having, which can really help with diagnosis and get us on the path to treatment,” Dr. Wieber said. “Common symptoms of someone who may need a sleep study include loud snoring, breathing that repeatedly starts and stops at night or feeling tired despite sleeping enough.”

A sleep study is a comprehensive procedure where the patient is connected to a series of sensors that record what is happening as they sleep. It usually takes place overnight in a sleep lab so the patient can be monitored. 

The Gold Standard

“The in-lab sleep study is the gold standard,” Dr. Wieber said. “It looks at brain waves, eye movement, muscle movement, breathing and oxygen levels and heart rate. We get so much information about the stages of sleep you are going through. Things like how long you’re in each stage and if you’re cycling in and out of those stages.”

Dr. Wieber added that a sleep study can definitively diagnose sleep apnea which is one of the more common sleep-related problems. The study is also helpful if it finds the patient doesn’t have sleep apnea because the clinical team can then focus on other issues like periodic limb movements and seizure disorders.

The first thing people should do if they think they need a sleep study is to visit their primary care provider, according to Dr. Wieber. 

“Primary care providers can recommend a number of things that may help your specific issue,” she said. “It may just be that you’re not giving yourself enough time to sleep. While some people only need six hours of sleep a night, most adults need 7.5 – 8.5 hours per night. If you are getting enough sleep and you’re still tired or your symptoms aren’t getting better after seeing your primary care doctor, then it’s time to see a sleep specialist.” 

If you would like to speak with a doctor about your sleep, visit and make an appointment.