Top Reasons to Have a Sleep Study (Test)

You may have wondered whether you have a sleep disorder.

Maybe you had a string of nights when you couldn't fall asleep. Or:

A friend may have recommended that you have a sleep study.

A loved one may have complained about your snoring or joked about your antics while asleep.

Or you awakened recently not feeling well rested and wondered why.

Do you need a sleep study?

There are many sleep tests, including the most common one, the overnight polysomnogram, as well as the home sleep apnea test (HSAT), the MWT (maintenance of wakefulness test), the MSLT (multiple sleep latency test), or titration studies related to PAP therapy. They can all get to the bottom of your concerns.

Here are some reasons to consider inquiring into a sleep study.  



You have sleep problems

It seems obvious, but not everybody thinks that sleep struggles are worth checking out with their doctor. Not true! Here are some good reasons to inquire into the possibility of a sleep study: 


You are tired all the time

We are meant to sleep at night and to remain alert all day. However, daytime sleepiness can indicate an underlying sleep disorder even if you think you've slept solid the night before. Here are some scenarios to consider:


You need a follow-up sleep study 

People with sleep disorders need to be vigilant about their therapy and may need to have further tests for the following reasons:

You have chronic health problems

Both sleeplessness and fatigue are symptomatic of many chronic health problems; we often forget that we can have more than one health problem causing our symptoms. Consider these situations: 

You have mental health concerns

The link between mood changes and poor sleep is not incidental. Sleep deprivation and mood disorders often have a two-way relationship: poor sleep can lead to dysfunctional mood or mental illness, or mood disorders or mental illness can lead to dysfunctional sleep



Your loved ones want you to have a sleep test

When we are sleeping, it's difficult for us to know if we have sleep disorders. However, our bed partners and family members can be credible witnesses who shouldn't be ignored. 

Do you need a sleep study?

Having an overnight sleep study to rule out sleep disorders (or to identify them) is a proactive and, sometimes, preventive measure you can take to ensure your best personal health. It is also a unique experience which reveals a great deal of information about your current health; the data gathered can be very useful for addressing preexisting, but undiagnosed, sleep health problems while also identifying other conditions you may not have been aware of.

However, a sleep study (otherwise referred to as polysomnography) is generally an expensive and elaborate test. It's important to remember that only a physician can refer you to a sleep center for a sleep test. You cannot go to a sleep specialist directly and ask for one.


Doctors are also bound by requirements established by insurance payers(including Medicare and Medicaid), who set the "medical necessity" criteria for who can qualify for sleep studies and, if so, which kinds of tests. They impose such rules to reduce healthcare costs and prevent unnecessary testing.

Most primary care physicians and other healthcare providers and specialists, including dentists, are trained to listen to concerns about sleep. They understand that sleep health concerns can aggravate or indicate the presence of other major health problems. Often, treating a sleep disorder can bring relief for other conditions. 

Suffice it to say, if your doctor thinks you need to have a sleep study, and your insurance provider clears your qualifications, then you need a sleep study. Not only is it a worthwhile test, but it could lead the way to a vastly improved qualify of life not only for you, but for your loved ones as well. 

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