Good sleep is vital for good health. When you experience the restorative stages of sleep, your blood pressure lowers, muscles and tissue are repaired and energy is restored to your brain and body. Sleeping well means waking up refreshed.
Sleep studies are tests that record what happens to your body during sleep. The testing is done to find out what is causing your sleep problems. During a routine office visit, talk with your doctor about the symptoms you are having. If you suspect your sleep partner is at risk for sleep apnea, your first step is to contact your healthcare professional. Visit with them about the following:
Chronic, ongoing snoring
Restless legs or extremities
During the day, do you often feel:
Have trouble adapting to your work
As though you have not slept or are not alert
If you have said “yes” to any of the above, you may have a sleep disorder.
Types of Sleep Testing
Types of Sleep Testing
You may need to be tested for a sleep disorder in lab or at home; this will be determined by a combination of your symptoms, doctor’s orders and insurance coverage. Types of sleep studies include:
Polysomnogram (PSG), or Split Night Study: in-lab, overnight
Home Sleep Test (HST): at home, overnight
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): in-lab, daytime
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT): in-lab, daytime
After a registered sleep technologist reviews the sleep study, those results are then sent to a board-certified sleep physician to interpret your sleep test further. The official interpretation results are sent to your ordering physician to explain the results.
Home Sleep Testing
Home Sleep Testing
When you take an at-home sleep apnea test or home sleep test, there are specific biological parameters that are measured to gain insight on whether you have obstructive sleep apnea. Here are the factors measured and the devices that help collect the data.
Nasal and oral airflow: A thin wire is taped by your nose and mouth to monitor your airflow throughout the night. Some sensors look like an oxygen cannula.
Respiratory effort: With elastic belt bands placed across your chest and abdomen, data is collected on your respiratory effort.
Oxygen levels: A small, clip-like device called an “oximeter finger probe” attaches to your fingertip and emits a red light that assists in the evaluation of oxygen levels in your blood while sleeping.*
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is caused by an obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, interrupting airflow and reducing blood oxygen levels. The dangers of sleep apnea are very real. Common signs include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep. Sufferers stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer, up to hundreds of times per night, often reducing blood oxygen to dangerously low levels. Sleep Apnea robs the blood of oxygen and causes heavy stress on the heart, blood vessels, and organs.
Signs and Symptoms of OSA
Lack of Energy
Frequent Urination during the Night
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)
Nighttime Gasping, Choking or Coughing
Gastroesophageal Reflux (gastric reflux)
Irregular Breathing During Sleep
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea or OSA
Diagnosis of hypertension or high blood pressure
Large neck circumference
Excessive use of alcohol of sedatives
Upper airway or facial abnormalities
Family history of OSA
Endocrine and metabolic disorders
More than 43 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
To put this into perspective, according to AAA, approximately the same number of Americans-43 Million- traveled for Thanksgiving in 2012.
Over 85 percent of people with OSA don’t know it-yet this syndrome can be deadly
OSA can occur in anyone, though it is more come in men, adults and obese patients.
Patients with OSA are at an increased risk of other chronic diseases and accidents:
2x the risk of stroke
4x risk of mortality within four years
5x risk of cardiovascular event
7x risk of motor vehicle accident (30% of accidents involving commercial truck drivers are sleep related)
OSA frequently coexist with obesity, depression, diabetes, stroke, hypertension and erectile dysfunction, and can cause or aggravate these conditions.
If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he or she may ask that you complete a sleep test. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will decide on either ordering a sleep study done in a sleep center, or another option would be a home sleep study.
The good news is that if you suffer from sleep apnea or OSA, you can take control and reduce your health risks. The improvement to your health will begin within days of starting sleep apnea treatment.
Frontier Home Medical is fully accredited by the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA). HQAA is a healthcare accreditation organization providing accreditation for home medical equipment (HME) and durable medical equipment (DME) companies nationwide.