Do You Need a Sleep Test? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself First.

Apr 10, 2023
Do You Need a Sleep Test? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself First.
A sleep study can help detect numerous sleep disorders and help you avoid serious health complications. But, how do you know if you need one? Asking yourself these questions can help steer you in the right direction.

Getting enough sleep plays a vital role in your health and wellness. However, it’s not always obvious if those ZZZs are quality and doing their part to recharge your system. 

Whether you struggle with chronic insomnia or wake day after day feeling unrested, a sleep study can help identify potential issues that are keeping quality sleep out of reach. Our team offers these tests at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, and you can often do them in the comfort of your own home. 

During the sleep study, we use a variety of technologies to record your breathing patterns and behaviors while sleeping. This tracking system is completely noninvasive and can help us diagnose sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.

Do you need a sleep test? Ask yourself these five questions.

1. Do you snore?

Snoring may be a common problem, but it’s also a sign of a potentially serious issue: sleep apnea.

When you have sleep apnea, you periodically stop breathing throughout the night. This can occur for various reasons, and it can lead to dangerous health complications, because it puts added strain on your system.

If your snoring keeps others awake, especially if it includes constant gasping or excessive sleepiness during the day, it’s time to see an expert.

2. Do you struggle to fall asleep — or remain asleep?

It’s one thing to have a sleepless night from time to time. But, if you have ongoing problems falling or staying asleep, you could have insomnia.

Approximately 10% of Americans live with chronic insomnia, which is an issue that can interfere with your daily life and mental health. Are you always tossing and turning? A sleep study could provide answers.

3. Do you sleepwalk or have terrifying nightmares?

People often associate sleep disorders with snoring and insomnia, but they can also cause other issues, such as sleepwalking and night terrors. And, yes, these behaviors can occur in people of all ages.


Technically speaking, sleepwalking can involve more than walking around. Sleepwalking basically includes any type of activity a person normally does while awake, which can include leaving the house and driving long distances, except the person is sleeping. 

Night terrors

Unlike an occasional nightmare, night terrors can include thrashing, sweating, screaming, and hyperventilating. If these issues occur, it can be difficult to comfort an individual, and they may not remember it in the morning.

4. Do you have an irresistible urge to move your legs?

Have you ever had an unpleasant or uncomfortable creeping sensation in your lower legs? Does it cause a strong urge to move your legs or walk around? You could have restless leg syndrome (RLS). 

This neurological disorder typically occurs when you sit or lie down, and it can make it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep. However, diagnosing this condition can get you the treatment you need to restore those elusive ZZZs.

5. Do you fall asleep throughout the day?

It’s no secret that a sleepless night causes excessive drowsiness during the day. However, if you can’t stay awake during daily activities, such as eating, talking, or driving, you could have narcolepsy. Other signs of narcolepsy include:

  • Insomnia and fragmented sleep
  • Sudden muscle weakness, causing limpness or the inability to move (cataplexy)
  • Total paralysis right before falling asleep or just after waking
  • Vivid hallucinations or dream-like images

Like other sleep disorders, ignoring narcolepsy can cause serious complications and impact every aspect of your life. 

Treating sleep disorders

Fortunately, our experienced team can help treat sleep disorders, whether they stem from breathing, mental health, brain function, or nervous system conditions. However, you need a sleep study to diagnose what’s behind your symptoms. 

And don’t worry — sleep studies are completely painless. We simply set up your sleep study equipment, and it does all the work while you relax and head to dreamland. In the morning, you resume your normal day, and we get to work analyzing the data.

After reviewing our findings, we can share the results and our recommendations at your follow-up appointment.

Do you need a sleep study? We can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 815-584-0976 or book an appointment online with Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine today.