Home sleep studies: easier, convenient and cost-efficient

Home Sleep StudyLately you’ve been having trouble sleeping at night and your doctor referred you to take an over night sleep study. The problem is, your schedule is already hectic, you’re exhausted, and there is absolutely no possible way you’re able to stay at an over night study. There is no need to stress out; many patients now have the opportunity to take a home sleep test in the comfort of their own home. Not only do you not have a long wait to schedule an appointment you even have the convenience of taking home a monitor that day after being briefed on how to operate the machine with a sleep technologist.

The home sleep study is relatively pretty easy. You will go through your normal daily routine. When it is time for bed, you place a belt around your mid section, apply an airflow sensor under your nose, and attach a clip to your finger, finally turn the machine and fall asleep. Not all machines are exactly the same; some may require you to add a few other stick-on sensors to the body. The following morning when you wake up, pack the machine up, return it to your doctor and wait to hear back with the results. Do keep in mind it could take a few days for the results.

The portable monitor will measure your oxygen levels, heart rate, airflow and breathing effort along with snoring while you sleep. Some machines will even record brain waves. If you were to go to an in-laboratory polysomnogram or PSG everything being measured is exactly the same as the home sleep study. In addition, the in-lab study will additionally measure EKG, sleep time, and leg movements and let’s not forget a licensed sleep technologist will be there to monitor you.

The cost to have an in-lab polysomnogram can cost up to $5,000, depending on what state you live in. Most insurance companies currently accept home sleep studies and actually prefer it instead of in-lab since it can cost as low as $200.

There are a few disadvantages to the home sleep test. The modified sleep study can only be used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). All other sleep disorder studies still have to be performed at an in-lab sleep center. For those with congestive heart failure, emphysema, seizures, pulmonary diseases and neuromuscular diseases a home sleep test is not recommended. Lastly, there is always a possibly the home sleep study might not record enough data to make a complete diagnosis. If this were to be the case, your physician will have you attend an over night sleep study at an in- laboratory polysomnography.

Interested in taking a home sleep test? Talk with a sleep specialist or watch our video to learn more.


Does your ethnicity affect your sleep patterns?

ethnic sleep disordersIt is rare for every person to get the recommended amount of sleep. One person may get more than the recommended amount of 7.5 to 9 hours per night, while another gets half as much of the amount needed. There are many reasons that contribute to the amount of sleep we receive. Did you know one of them could be caused by your race and ethnicity?

New studies have come out showing that depending on your race or ethnicity, you could be getting a sufficient amount of sleep – or not.   According to Journal Sleep, a study was conducted involving over 2,000 men and women from four different ethnicities that included Asian, black/African-American, Caucasian, and Latino. The ages of the participants ranged between 54 and 93 years old. In this study researchers found Black/African-American individuals were more prone to short sleep with less than 6 hours. In fact, Black/African-Americans were shown to have a greater chance of developing sleep apnea, poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness than Caucasians.  Out of the four ethnic groups, Caucasians had the highest rate of being diagnosed with insomnia.

Asian and Latinos have a greater chance than Caucasians with sleep-disorder breathing and short sleep duration. Although, according to Sleep in America poll, Asians reported getting the best sleep. Even though they were more likely to not talk to their healthcare provider about the amount of sleep they receive or discuss if they have a sleep disorder with others.  Just like in the sleep study, Black/African Americans were shown to get the least amount of sleep in the Sleep in America poll. The poll showed Blacks/African Americans reported an average of 38 minutes less sleep then Caucasians. However, it was reported in order to perform their best possible the following day they only needed 7 hours and 5 minutes whiles Asians and Hispanics reported they need 7 hours and 29 minutes.

Regardless of what is causing you to not get enough sleep, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The last hour before falling asleep is most vital. Take this precious time to put work, stress, and worries aside while focusing on relaxing and winding down. Since we cannot control what our race or ethnicity is and whether or not it is affecting our sleep, there are approaches that can be taken to help get a better nights rest.

Make a schedule for what time you go to bed and what time you wake up in the morning, and stick to it. Try to stop eating heavy meals late that way you’re not going to bed on a full stomach. Maybe try eating an earlier dinner and have a light snack later in the evening to keep you from going to bed starving. Avoid drinking caffeine late in the day along with taking late naps. To learn more about how to get a better nights rest read our article Preparations foPreparations for a good nights sleepr a Good Nights Sleep

If you’re still having difficulties sleeping or would like more information about your ethnicity affecting your sleep, contact a sleep specialist today.



All about Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is an actual sleep disorder that causes people to physically get up and walk while they are still sleeping, typically during one of the deep stages of sleep. Sleepwalking usually involves more than just walking during sleep; it is a series of complex behaviors that are carried out while sleeping, the most obvious of which is walking. Sleepwalking disorder symptoms can range from simply sitting up in bed and looking around, to walking around the room or house, to leaving the house and even driving long distances. It is a common misconception that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. In fact, it can be quite dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker as you can see by some of the common behaviors.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the presence of sleepwalking in the general population is estimated to be between 1% and 15%. The onset or persistence of sleepwalking in adulthood is common, and is usually not associated with any significant underlying psychiatric or psychological problems. Common triggers for sleepwalking include sleep deprivation, sedative agents including alcohol, febrile illnesses, and certain medications. Many patients who sleepwalk admit that they are embarrassed about their behaviors, especially when they learn what they did during their episode. Many of these behaviors tend to be crude, strange or sometimes hostile. It can be difficult to wake a sleepwalker up and when you do, they will probably be confused and lack any memory of the event. Episodes can occur rarely, or very often. They can even happen multiple times a night for a few nights in a row. Consulting a sleep doctor or our sleep center can help protect the sleepwalker or those around them. It will also help all parties involved get a better night’s sleep as sleep walking typically interrupts sleep for everyone.

Now you know that the symptoms can range from quiet walking about the room to agitated running or attempts to “escape.” Typically, the eyes are open with a glassy, staring appearance as the person quietly roams the house. On questioning, responses are slow or absent. If the person is returned to bed without awakening, he or she will usually not remember the event. Does any of this sound familiar to you? If you, a loved one or your child has any of these symptoms at night, our sleep doctors at any of our locations are ready to help. Our sleep centers have diagnosed and treated many people who suffered from sleepwalking and even sleep talking.Various treatment options may include behavior and lifestyle changes and recommendations, and/or prescribed medications. How you sleep tonight will affect how you feel tomorrow. Isn’t it time to diagnose your sleep disorder?


Warning! You Could be Suffering From a Sleep Disorder

Do you go through the day feeling unrested or groggy, even after a full night’s sleep? Are you constantly relying on caffeine or energy drinks to make it through the day? Do you have trouble staying awake during sedentary activities like watching TV, sitting down to read or riding in a vehicle? Don’t just write these symptoms off as stress or an uncomfortable mattress. A sleep assessment or a sleep study can help you and your doctor determine if you have an underlying sleep disorder that is causing your tiredness.

We all have days where we feel like we are dragging; maybe we stayed up too late or had to get up too early, however those days should be the exception to the rule – not the norm. It is estimated that over 40 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of sleep disorder and often don’t even realize it.

When our bodies are sleep deprived due to a chronic sleep disorder, they can’t function properly. It doesn’t take long before we start noticing the effects; depression, lack of mental acuity, weight gain and impaired judgment are just a few problems attributed to sleep deprivation. Sleep disorders also put you at risk for some more serious complications such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

The most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea, currently affecting more than 18 million people here in the US. It is not the only type of sleep disorder however; insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and sleepwalking round out the top five. There are actually more than 85 different types of sleep disorders, ranging from mild to life threatening, which makes being properly screened critical to developing a correct diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.

If you or a loved one think you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, take a minute to fill out our online assessment. Early detection and treatment of sleep disorders have been associated with significant improvements in emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. Even a mild decrease in the quality of your sleep can considerably impact your life, so don’t wait to be tested and treated!