Getting Your Diagnosis

 

Overview

You can never underestimate the value of a good night sleep, offering our body time to rejuvenate and thrive. For many, sustained and restorative sleep eludes them. While we encourage you to consult a physician for a professional assessment, you will find many helpful resources here to help educate yourself and guide you through diagnosis, treatment and disease management. Sleep for health and vitality!

Types of Sleep Disorders

InsomniaObstructive Sleep ApneaNarcolepsyRestless Legs Syndrome (RLS)Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
How Is Insomnia Diagnosed?

Patients with insomnia are evaluated with the help of a medical history and a sleep history. The sleep history may be obtained from a sleep diary filled out by the patient or by an interview with the patient’s bed partner concerning the quantity and quality of the patient’s sleep. Specialized sleep studies may be recommended, but only if there is suspicion that the patient may have a primary sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy

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When Should I See A Doctor?

If sleep apnea is suspected, scheduling an appointment with a physician is recommended. The physician will take a medical history and a referral for a night in a sleep evaluation laboratory will be required. It is often helpful for the doctor or sleep specialist to interview the bed partner or other members of the household. It is a good idea to complete the Bed Partner Questionnaire and review it with the doctor or sleep specialist.

For a diagnosis of sleep apnea to be made, each abnormal breathing episode must last at least 10 seconds and occur at least 5 times for each hour asleep. Doctors call this the Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI).

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When Should You Suspect Narcolepsy?

You should be checked for narcolepsy if:

  • you often feel excessively and overwhelmingly sleepy during the day, even after having had a full night’s sleep;
  • you fall asleep when you do not intend to, such as while having dinner, talking, driving, or working;
  • you collapse suddenly or your neck muscles feel too weak to hold up your head when you laugh or become angry, surprised, or shocked;
  • you find yourself briefly unable to talk or move while falling asleep or waking up.
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When Should I See A Doctor?

If an individual suspects he or she has RLS, self-help measures may alleviate the tingling sensations. If self-help remedies prove ineffective, a visit to a healthcare provider is recommended. In addition to a thorough physical examination, appropriate laboratory tests, and a medical history, patients are often diagnosed on the basis of three classic symptoms.

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How is PLMD Diagnosed?

To diagnose PLMD, leg movements are recorded during sleep. Sensors placed over the calf muscle record the number of leg movements during each hour of sleep.

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