According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, about one in five Americans report having sleep-related issues. One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea, a severe medical condition that boosts your chance of suffering from a stroke, heart attack, or other medical problems.
Sleep apnea isn’t something you can be immune to—it affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Regular symptoms of sleep apnea include restless sleep, heavy snoring, excessive daytime drowsiness or fatigue, pauses in breathing during sleep, and headaches.
If you believe you might be experiencing sleep apnea, Dr. Dani will make sure you get the proper diagnosis and the treatment that’s right for your situation. She will begin by examining your airway and discussing your current sleep quality.
What’s an At-Home Sleep Study?
As we progress towards your sleep apnea diagnosis, the next step is getting a sleep study. A sleep study offers detailed information about what’s happening in your body while you sleep and is the only way to know whether you snore or have sleep apnea.
Dr. Dani will give you a portable device to bring home with you. It comes with step-by-step directions, but to use it you wrap a monitoring belt around your stomach which clips to your finger, adding an airflow sensor to your nose, and turning on the device.
This device will monitor many factors including brainwave activity, muscle tone, breathing patterns, chest movements, heartbeat, and the oxygen levels in your blood.
After you sleep study, Dr. Dani will briefly review your results. From there, she’ll send you to a qualified doctor where they’ll interpret your sleep study and provide your diagnosis. Once the doctor has prescribed an oral appliance for sleep apnea, you’ll return to Kenilworth Dental Associates for your treatment.
Sleep Study Tips for Best Results
In the time leading up to your sleep study, there are a few conditions that can affect the precision of your results. For example, you can enhance your results by recording your sleeping habits in a “sleep diary.” It would help if you aimed for around two-weeks of recorded data. The information you’re looking for is the time you went to bed, when you woke up, when or if you woke momentarily, and what you ate/drank before sleeping. This data can shed additional light on your sleep study results.
Other things to keep in mind include avoiding a nap and caffeine before your sleep study. Both of these can make falling asleep more difficult, which can skew your results. Walking or working out prior to your study could help too. The goal is to prepare your body for a comfortable night’s sleep, forming the best conditions for accurate results.
During your study, refrain from using any backlit device. The blue spectrum light generated disrupts the bodies natural melatonin production—a hormone that regulates sleep. Signals from electronic devices can also interfere with the data that’s collected.
What if I wake up during the night?
If you wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, such as to use the bathroom or get some water, leave the device on. It’s vital that you continue recording all night.
When you wake up after a night’s rest, that’s when you should turn off the device and place the equipment back into the case, with the exception of the nasal cannula which will be discarded. Return the WatchPAT device according to the instructions you were given.
Are home sleep tests accurate?
Yes! The at-home sleep tests are an incredibly accurate and effective way to diagnose sleep disorders from the comfort of your own home. The device measures a number of factors, such as blood oxygen saturation, breathing patterns, and more.
Once you’ve completed your sleep test, the data is sent to a board certified Sleep Medicine physician for a precise diagnosis. After you receive your diagnosis for sleep apnea, we can begin treatment right away.
Getting the Care You Deserve
If you or someone you care about is fighting to get the sleep they need, contact Dr. Dani at Kenilworth Dental Associates today. She and her pleasant staff will ensure you get the diagnosis and treatment that you deserve.