Can't Sleep? There's a Study for That - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Can't Sleep? There's a Study for That

By: Jason Rantala

@jarantala

jrantala@myabc5.com

Waking up refreshed and well rested is a goal many of us have everyday.

But getting that quality shut–eye can be a challenge. 

Whether you suffer from insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep disorder or even snoring, sleep studies are one of the best ways to see what disorder you have and how to treat it.

Participants in the studies stay overnight at a sleep center and are monitored throughout.

Bill Duncan was part of the study to see why he was waking up several times a night.

"I was tired during the daytime. Obviously I wasn't getting a good night' sleep," said Duncan.

First off, Bill has several sensors put on.

The sensors monitor heart rate, brainwaves, eye movement, breathing, and chest and leg movements.

After about a half–hour and a cavalcade of wires and sensors, Bill is off to bed. Technicians monitor him on two computer screens.

"We can actually tell when you're awake, when you're asleep, and what levels of sleep that you're in," said Deanna Miller, Business Relations for Iowa Sleep Disorders Center.

Rapid eye movement is a clear sign of REM sleep, the deepest sleep and the stage that we begin to dream.

Bill's study found he suffered from obstructive sleep disorder, known as pauses in breathing while sleeping.

He was told that improving his diet would solve his issues.

"It's a little uncomfortable at first. I didn't know for sure what to expect, and getting wired up is a little intimidating to start with," said Miller.

While the wires were a bit much, Bill says it's all worth it in the end to find out what ailed him.

"It wasn't the best night of sleep I ever had, but it wasn't too bad at all. It was worth the trip up here to help me out," said Miller. 

There are a few ways to get the best night sleep at home:

  • Eliminate distractions. Turn off your computer or TV an hour or two before bed.
  • Make your room as dim as possible.
  • Keep pets and kids off the bed.
  • Put your thermostat at a cool temp. The Iowa Sleep Center says 64 degrees is the ideal temperature. While that may sound cold, it has a hibernation effect and promotes deep sleep.

For more info on sleep studies, head to the Iowa Sleep Disorders website.

 

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