Are you having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? Quality sleep is vital to your health. At Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, we are dedicated to ensuring that you sleep well through essential health and wellness services. Let’s start with our sleep medicine program in Manistique.
Sleep medicine – or a sleep study – is the first step in determining how well you sleep and if you have sleep problems. Our sleep medicine expert, Dr. Sand, recommends a sleep study to diagnose sleep disorders. Based on the results of your sleep study, we can determine the next steps for treating your sleep issues, so you can start getting the rest you need every night.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, is a test that runs while you are asleep. It’s designed to diagnose any sleep disorder by recording your brain activity and identifying your sleep patterns. Essentially, this means spending the night in a sleep lab so that a sleep medicine specialist can collect data about your sleep.
Your sleep study is designed to yield valuable information about your sleep patterns, such as the time you spend in light and deep sleep cycles, if you receive enough oxygen, and how often you wake up or your sleep is disrupted. One of the most common findings from a polysomnogram is sleep apnea, allowing a sleep medicine specialist to treat it.
Who needs sleep medicine?
Everyone needs adequate rest, which makes sleep medicine vital for all. It’s important to know how well you are sleeping and whether you have sleep disorders that need to be treated. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your primary care provider:
- You snore or gasp for air while you are sleeping
- You have difficulty falling asleep
- You have trouble sleeping through the night and without disruptions
- You feel tired even after getting enough sleep
- You are too exhausted to follow your daily routine.
Your primary care provider will likely refer you to a sleep medicine specialist in Manistique. During your consultation, they will first try to determine the nature of your sleep issues. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary to track how well you sleep.
If your sleep medicine specialist finds that your sleep problems may be due to a sleep disorder, they will order a sleep study. Your sleep study and other related tests may indicate common sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, hypersomnia (i.e., sleepwalking) or insomnia. Based on these, you can proceed with the appropriate treatment.
What to know about in-home sleep study monitoring
With advancements in sleep medicine, sleep studies are now possible at home. A home sleep study is a convenient alternative to an in-lab study and is often recommended to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. An in-home sleep study is also more likely to be affordable and comfortable, as it takes place in your home.
What You Need for an In-Home Sleep Study
In order to proceed with your sleep study at home, a sleep medicine specialist will provide you with required equipment. Your doctor will also provide instructions on how to use these devices. Make sure to follow them to ensure that your sleep data is accurately recorded. Keep in mind that a sleep study requires going to bed as you typically would. But before you do, you will need to connect the monitoring devices to your body
Facts About In-Home Sleep Studies
Before proceeding with your in-home sleep study, there are a few things you need to remember:
- An in-home study will only monitor your breathing patterns to detect sleep apnea, not actual sleep quality, such as the cycles of light and deep sleep
- Equipment for an in-home sleep study includes sensors placed on your finger to measure oxygen levels, as well as on your abdomen and chest, and a mask with tubes inserted in your nostrils
- Most sleep studies happen just overnight—unless the results are inaccurate or inconclusive due to the sensors falling off
- You may have sleep disorders other than apnea, which your sleep medicine specialist can diagnose through other tests.
Do’s and Don’ts before a sleep study
All a sleep study entails is going to bed with the intention of getting a good night’s rest. You simply need to follow your bedtime routine; however, you must remember some do’s and don’ts to ensure that your sleep study goes well and obtains accurate results.
Follow these do’s and don’ts before your sleep study:
- For an in-lab sleep study, bring everything you need for the night, such as clothes, toiletries, and prescribed medications.
- Eat your dinner before going to the sleep clinic.
- Wash and dry your hair before your sleep study, but without conditioners, gels, oils, and sprays to avoid interfering with electrodes.
- Fill out all the required paperwork and inform the clinic ahead of time of any special needs.
- Be patient as the monitoring equipment is set up, which can take up to an hour.
- Nap during the day to avoid having trouble falling asleep during your sleep study.
- Have nail polish on your index fingers to avoid interfering with the pulse oximeter reading.
- Drink caffeine after lunch or a few hours before your sleep study.
- Forget to take the sleep aid if prescribed by your sleep medicine doctor.
FAQs about Sleep Apnea
Get the answers to your questions on sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder monitored during a sleep study.
1. What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing problem that occurs in your sleep. It causes you to stop breathing for short periods throughout your sleep. This happens as your windpipe closes, which alerts the brain to wake you up and reopen the windpipe, but not without disrupting your sleep.
2. Can a CPAP machine help with sleep apnea?
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is commonly prescribed for people with sleep apnea. The CPAP machine blows pressurized air into an air hose attached to a face mask worn during sleep. This mechanism keeps your windpipe open so that you can sleep without disruption.
3. Can an at-home sleep study detect obstructive sleep apnea?
You can opt for an at-home sleep study to detect sleep apnea. An at-home study is a convenient alternative to an in-lab session. However, note that your sleep medicine physician will only recommend doing your sleep study at home if they suspect moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea and no other health conditions. An at-home sleep study may also be less effective at detecting sleep apnea.
4. What sleep medicine equipment is used to detect sleep apnea?
Your sleep study relies on several pieces of specialized equipment to accurately monitor your sleep and detect issues like sleep apnea. These include sensors placed on your head and throughout the body, elastic belts wrapped around your chest and abdomen, and a pulse oximeter on your finger. Your sleep medicine doctor may also recommend wearing a CPAP machine during the second half of the night to see if it improves your sleep.
Schedule a Sleep Study Appointment
If you have trouble sleeping or have suspected obstructive sleep apnea, visit Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital today. Our sleep medicine team can help you start with a sleep study in Manistique.
Our Sleep Medicine Specialist
In addition to sleep medicine, Dr. Sand is also a board certified in family medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Detroit and a Doctor of Osteopathy from Michigan State University. He began practicing sleep medicine at the Oscar G. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility in Iron Mountain, where he served veterans for 12 years. He went on to provide sleep medicine services at Dickinson Community Healthcare System prior to joining Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.
Call us at 906-256-6503 EXT 1 to get in touch with our scheduling department. Schedule your sleep study with our sleep medicine physician, Dr. Sand.