The multiple sleep latency test

The multiple sleep latency test is a test of great importance which allows to objectively evaluate whether there is  excessive daytime sleepiness, which helps us to identify and diagnose those people who suffer from any kind of hypersomnia as well as those who suffer from narcolepsy. Also it is useful to evaluate whether there is still residual sleepiness in the case of receiving treatments for sleep disorders. With the result of the test we can make recommendations related to the job and we can prescribe the most appropriate treatment. So, if anybody has a test result below normal levels we should recommend not to perform dangerous jobs or activities in which, should he/she fall asleep, may have or may cause accidents or could take decissions that may endanger his/her life or other people,s life. This is important in the case of professional drivers, air controllers, pilots, surgeons, etc.
Before performing a multiple sleep latency test it is always mandatory to perform a polysomnographic night test.

This example shows a person with excessive sleepiness who falls asleep five minutes after the beginning of the test entering in the phase 1 of sleep. In the following five minutes the person awakens three times. Later he/she falls asleep again, reaching even phases 2 and 3 of sleep and after 20 minutes he/she is still sleeping.

In this second example we see that the individual not only falls asleep after five minutes, but after 10 minutes he/she enters in the REM sleep phase. This can indicate that either that person may be affected by narcolepsy, other types of hypersomnia, insufficient sleep, or even endogenous depression .

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