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There polysomnography it is usually carried out at night, because it is a test that investigates and tells us how we sleep. Whether good or bad, we too know a little when we wake up more or less rested in the morning, loaded for the day ahead or with zero desire to face it, but polysomnography is a doctor. Diagnose sleep e it is often prescribed to those who suffer from or suspect that they have sleep disorders. To detect and record some fundamental and significant physiological parameters for doctors dealing with these pathologies, such as brain activity, breathing, oxygen levels, special tools are needed.
There polysomnography it is done at night, as can be guessed, in order to watch over the patient while he sleeps and observe his behavior. At home it is difficult to carry out such an examination than requiring ad hoc equipment a non-trivial procedure as it is for example to measure blood pressure. In a room prepared for polysomnography, complete with a camera and audio system for communication between patient and medical staff, polysomnography is carried out to know the trend and variations of some physiological parameters during the REM and NON-REM phases. For those suffering from sleep disorders it is very useful.
We remember that the REM and NON-REM phase they are the two main phases of our rest, moments in which some biological functions are reduced and others are strengthened. For example, the production of corticoid hormones is reduced, that of growth factors increases. The two phases studied by polysomnography alternate several times, at least 4 or 5.
The NON-REM phase is divided into 4 parts, from the first sleep until, at the fourth stage, the body regenerates. REM, where REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movement, is an "agitated" phase in which, literally, the eyes make rapid involuntary movements. In these minutes of sleep the heartbeat and the breath frequency they increase, we dream and the muscles remain relaxed but the mind is active.
Polysomnography: where to do it
As mentioned, it is necessary to go to a hospital equipped to undergo this diagnostic test because it is practically impossible to set up all the equipment you need at home. Not to mention the need for staff to watch over the exam all night. The examination must last as long as the patient's "sleep", you cannot take the parameters for a few minutes and stop, because the purpose of polysomnography is precisely to observe their evolution during the night.
Then, a doctor specializing in sleeping disorders is needed to determine the disorder that the individual under examination suffers from. It is good to clarify that polysomnography takes place in the hospital not because there are special risks and the test does not require any special precautions.
The tool used is a computerized device, it's called a polysomnograph and is connected to the person undergoing the examination with skin sensors, located at the end of several cables. The main parameters that must be detected and recorded for the doctor to have the elements to make a diagnosis are: land brain waves (i.e. brain activity), oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing, eye movements and movements of the limbs (both upper and lower).
Babies may suffer from sleep disturbances but before they undergo one polysomnography it is better to understand if there are other ways to treat them because it is not always well accepted even if not dangerous.
Among the problems that are diagnosed with polysomnography there are some pathologies that even children can experience such as sleep apnea syndrome or sleep-related movement disorders. Narcolepsy usually emerges in adults and is a neurological disorder that causes repeated sleep attacks and a constant feeling of daytime sleepiness. Behavioral disorders may be encountered both during the REM phase and during the NON-REM phase, even in children, while thechronic insomnia it's definitely adult.
The only problems that can exist during or after polysomnography concern any skin irritation caused by the application of the sensors to the skin polysomnograph. For the rest, it is a painless and not at all invasive exam, there is nothing to worry about if you have to perform it.
The polysomnograph is connected to the patient's body with gods skin sensors and it is important to check that the connecting cables are so long as not to bother the patient, indeed, to let him move freely. The sensors must be applied to the scalp, on the temples, chest and legs, but to measure oxygen levels, a special clip is needed to be placed on the index finger.
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