The Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Regular snoring is not considered to be a serious problem, however, unlike sleep apnea snoring, generalized snoring can be an early warning sign of existing sleep apnea. In fact, snoring affects up to 37 million Americans on a regular basis and 90 million Americans occasionally snore at some point in their lives with no serious medical consequences. However, combined with other symptoms it can indicate that it’s time to get screened for sleep apnea.
Factors related to generalized snoring include:
- Sleeping position
- Consumption of alcohol
- Sleep deprivation
Know the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Feeling exhausted every day isn’t normal. Especially if you snore, wake up constantly throughout the night, and gasp for air during sleep. These are all common symptoms of sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that can lead to serious health conditions and death.
If you notice the symptoms of sleep apnea in your life, seeking a sleep study is important to diagnose and treat your condition. Without undergoing a sleep study, Dr. Huff can’t recommend a treatment option for you without a concrete diagnosis.
What is a Sleep Study?
During a sleep study, the quality and quantity of sleep you’re getting will be monitored. Based on your oxygen levels, brain activity, and muscle movement, your physician can determine if you have a sleep disorder.
The study is normally conducted in an overnight sleep clinic, but it can also be done as a take-home test. Both types of sleep studies are valid and will get you one step closer to better sleep and a more fulfilling life.
The Sleep Study Process & How to Prepare
Your experience with a sleep study will vary depending on which type of study you choose. At a sleep clinic, all you have to do is show up, get comfortable, and fall asleep. Medical staff will make sure your room is quiet and safe, as well as set up the test for you.
With a take-home test, you’ll be able to sleep in the comfort of your own home. Setting up the test isn’t difficult and you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to ensure your results are accurate. After the test, return the equipment to your doctor for a diagnosis.
You don’t need to do much to prepare for your sleep study. It’s best if you stick to your regular daily schedule as much as possible so your results will reflect the sleep you normally get.
There are some actions to be aware of, though. We recommend limiting your intake of caffeine and sugar after lunch so you can fall asleep more easily. Napping can also impact the effectiveness of your sleep study by making it hard for you to fall asleep.
If you’re going to a sleep clinic, packing a bag full of essential items is recommended. Some of these items include comfortable clothing or pajamas, your toothbrush and hygiene items, and a way to relax, such as a reading book.
Frequently Asked Questions
A sleep study, also known as a polysomnography, is a type of test used to diagnose sleep disorders like sleep apnea. During a sleep study, the system records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate, and breathing pattern, as well as eye and leg movements throughout your sleep.
Polysomnograhpies help identify irregularities while your sleeping so your physician can properly diagnose your possible disorder. If you’re curious about where to receive a sleep study, get in touch with Dr. Huff today so he can help.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep for your sleep study, your doctor may suggest that you take a sleeping pill. However, this should be discussed prior to your sleep study if you know that you have problems falling asleep.
Otherwise, unless you already take a prescription sleep aid, the sleep lab will allow you to take light over the counter medication like melatonin or Benadryl.
During your sleep study, most sleep doctors recommend a full night’s rest of roughly eight hours. When a patient goes into a sleep center, the hookup process will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Then, you will be left in your own room to fall asleep.
You’ll be encouraged to fall asleep as soon as possible to maximize the amount of observed sleep time. If you need to use the bathroom during the night, you’ll need only to notify the technologist so they can properly unhook you and pause the study.
Once your sleep study is complete the next morning, a sleep specialist will review it and make any necessary diagnosis. This will help determine the best course of action to treat your sleep problems.
After they receive your final results, they’ll send them to your referring physician so you can begin proper treatment.
You Can Sleep Peacefully
When the results of your sleep study come back, Dr. Huff can help you with treatment for sleep apnea. If you don’t have sleep apnea but snore, he can also provide a solution for snoring.
For more information about sleep studies or sleep apnea, call our office at (830) 896-8343. You can also fill out the contact form below and we’ll get right back to you.