The term polysomnography is a Greek word derived from the following terms, "poly" which means several, "somno" which means sleep and "graphy" which means to write. This term refer to a variety of tests carried out on patients while they are sleeping. It is an overnight test, which serves to analyze sleep disorders. It entails observing patient's airflow through the nose and mouth. It also involves watching the patient's electrocardiographic activity, blood oxygen level, brain wave pattern, respiratory muscles movement, and eye movements.
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Polysomnography is a medical study that detects and analyzes a variety of sleep disorders. For example, it can assist in checking sleep apnea, a widespread disorder in middle aged and aged obese men, in which the soft palate muscles at the back of the throat rest and close off the air throughout sleep. This causes a person to snore noisily and struggle for breath in the night. The patient also tends to be seriously sleepy during the day and constantly doses off. It also analyzes parasomnia, which means abnormal behavior during sleep, for example, sleep talking, and sleep walking, bedwetting and nightmares.
Various reasons have prompted me to join polysomnographic course. These reasons are mainly the reasons for studying polysomnography. First is that studying polysomnographic gives a student the skills required in analyzing respiratory cases. The student is acquainted with the respiratory problems while he studies polysomnography. He can evaluate if a person has problems related to breathing or not. He can detect whether a person has sleeping problems like parasomnia.
Secondly is that a student can study in depth several disorders that are related to sleep, for example, narcolepsy, which is analyzed by polysomnography. Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder where people have abrupt attacks of sleep and cataplexy. Cataplexy is where there is impermanent failure of muscle tone caused by seconds of feelings, for example, terror, rage, or shock, which causes people to slump. It also involves detecting sleep paralysis or hallucinations during the onset of sleep.
Thirdly is that a student is equipped with skills on detecting convulsions that arise in the mid of the night when the patient or his family are unaware. Convulsions are unrestrained electrical action in the head, which may produce a physical spasm, slight physical signs, or other, several mixtures of symptoms. They can be caused by brain tumors, head injuries, lead poisoning, infectious illnesses, and fevers. A student develops these skills in studying polysomnography.
The fourth reason is that studying and monitoring patients in a sleep laboratory motivates a student to get to understand the working of several apparatus. For example, the electroencephalography machine where electrodes are attached to patients in order to record the brain activity. It records brain activity from various angles of the brain and records them on a graph. The student will learn to detect the patient's stage of sleep and notice convulsion. He is acquainted with using electro-oculography, which records eye movements. It is used to find out when a patient is going through a phase of sleep known as hurried eye movement sleep. These records both help a polysomnographist to determine the time that transpires between lights out and the start of sleep. It also determines the time a patient spends on each sleep stage and the number of times the patient awakes in his sleep.
Lastly is that being a polysomnographic helps one to be more conversant with sleep problems and to treat these problems. It also helps one to assists patients with these disorders in every way possible.
These are the reasons that have prompted me to study polysomnography. Polysomnography is a fascinating course and requires a lot of commitment from the student. This is because in studying it, the student is required to perform a variety of sleep tests. These are performed at night and, therefore, a person should be patient until he performs all the tests. I have the commitment and the determination to study this course.
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