Sleep Apnea Sleep Study

Sleepless In Colorado

Chances are high you know someone within one degree of separation from you that snores.  Whether it’s your dad or your dog, snoring is like a biological alarm clock going off indicating something is seriously wrong.  Snoring severity can range from quiet and vibratory to louder than speaking.  Chances are also high that, if you have a significant other, you either currently have sore ribs from being poked during the night to “stop that ruckus” or are currently seeking help for that problem.  Snoring most often occurs during the night when the airway closes enough to cause the rattling of tissue.  Sometimes the snoring can be louder in certain stages of sleep or certain sleeping positions; the key to waking up feeling rejuvenated is going through your sleep cycle uninterrupted 3-5 times per night.

So Your Sleep Needs To Be Studied

If you are lucky enough to have been told you may benefit from a sleep study, you should definitely show up!  There is no better way of finding out what’s happening during your slumber than to have a picture taken of it.  There are two types of sleep testing available to the masses right now (and many more coming down the pipeline).  The two categories have a significant amount of variables involved in each of their delivery so, for the purposes of this post, we will just keep our focus generally upon the two categories.

Home Sleep (Apnea) Testing

A Home Sleep Test can be performed if you have a high pre-test probability (high likelihood) of having obstructive sleep apnea.  An HST, as it’s called in the industry, or HSAT will normally involve a few specific points of monitoring: respiratory pattern and oxygen level.  There are optional additions to HST data collection, such as brainwave activity (to show when you are sleeping and when you are not), limb monitoring (usually placed next to your shins or on your arms), and others though these additional channels are not normally required for insurance reimbursement.  Before having a Home Sleep Test done it is very important you have provided your involved clinical care team about all of the variables you know of regarding your sleep; certain information such as acting out your dreams or Congestive Heart Failure/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, etc., may significantly affect the validity of the data.  Home Sleep Tests are the most often testing modality of choice for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) truckers, train operators and bus transit line operators in Colorado that require testing.  This testing modality is the least expensive and has the quickest turnaround time in the Colorado market.

In-Laboratory Sleep Testing

This is the big one.  An in-laboratory sleep study will look at your brainwaves, heart, respiratory pattern, certain muscle groups and body positioning while audio and video are being recorded.  This is the gold standard testing for any sleep disorders that cannot be diagnosed from the more simplistic Home Sleep (Apnea) Test, of which there are many.  Your sleep laboratory will have a large amount of time dedicated internally to screen you correctly, prior authorize with your insurance company whether or not they will cover testing, and establish the flipped sleep cycle for the technologist that will be performing your study.  Most labs have strict guidelines regarding caffeine consumption and naps on the day of testing, along with adherence to other conditions as set by the medical director overseeing your test.

With all the new available treatments for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea it’s an incredible time in our human history to investigate whether or not that snoring nuisance is going to cause more problems than just digging into your wallet for some extra energy hype during the day.  One of the most Google questions currently according to autofill is “why am I so tired” – in the field that’s truly selling the solution, Sleep Medicine has plenty to offer the tired snorers of the world.


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