Posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 at 8:03 pm
The American Sleep Association estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. That’s a lot of Americans with problems getting rest. Other medical studies suggest that sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea while impacting 20 percent of U.S. adults, go undiagnosed in almost 90 percent of patients.
Unfortunately for many adults, problems getting a quality night’s sleep are often chalked up to stress and anxiety. Feeling tired throughout the day or not waking up refreshed after a night’s sleep are solved by chugging another cup of coffee in the morning or downing an energy drink mid-day. People may not realize that a sleep disorder could be impacting the quality of their sleep and their overall health. However, there is a way to help determine if an undiagnosed sleep disorder is to blame, and it starts with an at-home sleep study.
What Is an At-Home Sleep Study?
An at-home sleep study or an at-home sleep test is a diagnostic tool that a physician may employ to help diagnose sleep disorders or disturbances. In many cases, an at-home sleep study is used to determine if an individual is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Sleep apnea is a term used to describe several conditions that result when a person stops breathing during the night. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when an individual’s airway becomes blocked, or obstructed, stopping the flow of air. OSA can cause a person to move out of the deep sleep phase or wake them up entirely.
An at-home sleep test requires a portable device that should be approved by your physician. There is no need for an overnight visit to a sleep clinic. The test can be taken in the comfort of a person’s own home. While there are different models and types of equipment, basically, a portable sleep test device is a compact breathing monitor that will measure an individual’s breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort while they sleep. The machine gathers the information, and then a physician will examine the data and use it to make a diagnosis or decide to conduct a more in-depth study.
How to Prepare for an At-Home Sleep Study
First and foremost, follow all your physicians’ instructions carefully. If you are already feeling tired and need an afternoon pick-me-up, avoid caffeine. Do not have a drink with dinner and avoid the temptation to take a little afternoon catnap. All these things can interfere with your sleep and impact the quality of your at-home sleep test.
Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may need to conduct the test for as many as three consecutive nights. Make sure that you go to bed at your usual time and don’t make any sudden or drastic changes to your bedtime routine. Apply the equipment as directed. If something happens that wakes you up, such as a sick child coming into your bedroom or a fire alarm going off, make a note of it and share the information with your doctor.
An at-home sleep test is a convenient and often less stressful way to help your doctor get to the bottom of your sleep issues. At Silent Night Therapy, we are deeply committed to helping patients explore their problems and find ways to get the rest they deserve.
Tired, cranky, or feeling sleep-deprived? Silent Night Therapy offers at-home sleep tests, so if you feel that you might have sleep apnea, call us and set up an appointment today!