Sleep is defined by dynamic changes in the entire body. It is made up of different phases and as you move through them your breathing, blood pressure and body temperature drop and rise. The tension in your muscles usually stays the same as when you are awake - except during the REM phases, which represent up to a quarter of your sleep. During these, most major muscle groups decrease significantly. But if the throat muscles relax too much, the airways collapse and become blocked. The result is obstructive sleep apnea.
Your air supply is constantly disrupted with sleep apnea, which causes blood oxygen levels to fall. Then you're coughing, gasping, breathing. This can happen hundreds of times a night, and many and severe are the ill-effects. Because it tries to pump blood quicker to counter the lack of oxygen. Fluctuating levels of oxygen often increase plaque in the arteries and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease., hypertension, and stroke.
Then there is the fatigue of never getting a full night's sleep coupled with the loss of memory, anxiety, and depression. Lack of sleep also leads to traffic accidents that can lead to inattention. f you have symptoms of sleep apnea, your doctor may ask you to do a sleep apnea test called a polysomnograph. This can be done in a sleep disorder center or even at home.
A polysomnograph - or sleep study - is a multi-component test that electronically transmits and records specific physical activity while you sleep. Recordings are reviewed by a qualified sleep specialist to determine if you have apnea or another type of sleep disorder.
If sleep apnea is determined, you may be asked to perform further tests to determine the best treatment option.
What to Expect During a Sleep Study
On the night of your sleep study, if you are in a sleep center lab, you will be assigned to a private room in the sleep center or hospital. Near the bedroom, there will be a central monitoring area, where technicians monitor sleeping patients.
You will be connected to equipment that may seem uncomfortable. However, most people fall asleep with little difficulty.
More portable and similar medical equipment are now available for home sleep testing, especially for less complicated cases or situations.
Some Home Sleep testing Devices Frequently used
The Alice PDx portable diagnostic recording device is intended for tracking, tracking and diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in polysomnography and sleep disorder studies. Patients can be tested at the hospital or at home.
The Alice NightOne is an easy-to-use home sleep test (HST) device that offers the confidence of sensors that meet recommended industry standards and helps patients perform the study correctly the first night
YH-600B Pro records the following data: nasal airflow of the patient, snoring, a saturation of blood oxygen, pulse, breathing, location of the body and movement of the wrist during sleep. It can also be connected to a CPAP system to record and display continuous positive airway pressure. Such recordings are used by the unit to produce a report that can help diagnose sleep-disordered breathing or further clinical research. The device is intended for the hospital/institutional environment(supervised) and the home environment (unsupervised) for adults
During a sleep study, surface electrodes are mounted on the face and scalp and the measuring device collects registered electrical signals. These signals, generated by brain and muscle activity, are then digitally recorded. The belts will be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your breathing. A bandage oximeter probe will be placed on the finger to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Other tests for sleep apnea
- EEG (electroencephalogram) to measure and record brainwave activity.
- EMG (electromyogram) to record muscle activity such as face spasms, teeth grinding and leg movements, and to determine the presence of REM sleep on the stage. During REM sleep, intense dreams usually occur when the brain undergoes intensified activity.
- EOG (electro-oculogram) to record eye movements. These movements are important in determining the different stages of sleep, particularly in the REM stage.
- ECG (electrocardiogram) to record heart rate and rhythm.
- Nasal airflow sensor to record airflow.
- Snoring microphone to record snoring activity.