What Does Rera Mean in a Sleep Study

RERA stands for Respiratory Effort Related Arousal, which is a term commonly used in sleep medicine and sleep studies. It refers to a specific type of breathing abnormality that can disrupt a person’s sleep and cause arousals or awakenings throughout the night. RERAs are often associated with partial upper airway obstructions, which means that the airway is not completely blocked but still restricts the flow of air during breathing.

During a sleep study, RERAs are typically measured and recorded using various diagnostic tools such as nasal pressure sensors, breathing belts, or other respiratory monitoring devices. These measurements help sleep specialists evaluate the quality and continuity of a person’s sleep by identifying abnormal respiratory events.

RERAs are different from apneas and hypopneas, which are also breathing abnormalities commonly observed in sleep studies. While apneas refer to complete pauses in breathing lasting at least 10 seconds, and hypopneas involve partial reductions in airflow, RERAs are characterized by an arousal from sleep that is associated with an increased effort to breathe. This means that a person may experience repetitive episodes of increased respiratory effort throughout the night, leading to fragmented sleep and daytime sleepiness.


Q: What are the symptoms of RERAs?
A: The symptoms of RERAs can vary from person to person. Some common signs include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, frequent awakenings, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

Q: What causes RERAs?
A: RERAs are mainly caused by partial obstructions in the upper airway, similar to those seen in sleep apnea. Factors such as obesity, nasal congestion, large tonsils, and certain anatomical abnormalities can contribute to the development of RERAs.

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Q: How are RERAs treated?
A: Treatment for RERAs often depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and sleeping in a different position can help alleviate symptoms. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy may be recommended if the RERAs are severe or if they coexist with other sleep disorders.

Q: Can RERAs be cured?
A: Since RERAs are often related to structural or anatomical factors, they may not be fully cured in some individuals. However, appropriate treatment can effectively manage the symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Q: How can I know if I have RERAs?
A: If you suspect that you may have RERAs or any other sleep disorder, it is best to consult a sleep specialist. They can evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and may recommend a sleep study to accurately diagnose and determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.