If you snore loudly at night, experience daytime fatigue, or wake up feeling tired, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and is characterised by inconsistent breathing. Those with sleep apnea experience breathing that repetitively stops and starts while they’re asleep, although they may not be aware of it. In fact, experts estimate that the majority of those living with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Sleep apnea can be dangerous if it goes undiagnosed and untreated, as it can cause high blood pressure and heart problems. If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder, your doctor will likely prescribe a sleep apnea test. Here is what to expect:
A polysomnogram is the most common type of sleep apnea test. This test requires the patient to stay overnight and get a full night’s sleep so that doctors can monitor a variety of factors, including breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, and eye movement. If your doctor has prescribed a sleep apnea test, prepare for an overnight stay. This means that you should bring comfortable pajamas and toiletries.
During the sleep apnea test, you will be hooked up to quite a bit of equipment, such as sensors and bands. This equipment may include surface electrodes, elastic belts, a finger monitor to measure oxygen levels, a nasal cannula, a microphone to record snoring, and EKG monitors.
While the equipment used during the sleep apnea test may look uncomfortable, many patients are able to fall asleep easily and report no discomfort. Most importantly, rest assured that no part of the test will be painful.
While it may seem daunting, a sleep apnea test isn’t nearly as scary as it may seem. It can be uncomfortable to sleep in an unfamiliar place- and to be monitored at that- but the equipment used in the test is painless. There is truly nothing to worry about. There is no danger to taking a sleep apnea test, but there are many benefits. Once your sleep apnea is properly diagnosed, you can start to look at effective treatments, such as the CPAP machines. There are various other sleep disorders that can be diagnosed with a Polysomnography such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and more.