To prepare you for your sleep study, CPAP.com has created an Introduction to the Sleep Lab video. To watch this video, click the "Videos" tab below. We recommend you view this video prior to your sleep lab visit.
Your doctor referred you to a sleep lab to be able to diagnose and treat your sleep problems. A sleep lab looks like a normal bedroom, but is equipped with instruments to measure your breathing and movements. During your sleep study, a sleep technician will make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible while gathering necessary information from a separate room. The results of which will make up your polysomnogram. You will have monitors affixed to your face and legs. These are not uncomfortable and are essential to diagnose you with Sleep Apnea or another sleep problem. During the night, or in a separate study, your sleep tech will bring you a CPAP mask to improve your sleep. Pressure will be increased gradually as you need more air to open your passageway.
The Sleep Study (Polysomnography) is the gold standard for the diagnosis or several sleep disorders including, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. The results of the test are referenced as a polysomnogram which is frequently abbreviates as PSG.
Polysomnography is conducted in a sleep center, hospital or in a person's home. The test is usually performed at night to record the person's normal sleep pattern. Electrodes are placed on the scalp, the outer edge of the eyelids, and to the skin on the chin in preparation for the test.
Characteristic patterns from the electrodes are recorded while you are awake with your eyes closed and during sleep. The time taken to fall asleep, time to enter REM sleep, movement, breathing pattern, and sleep architecture are all recorded using a computer.
The person gathering and scoring the data is called a Polysomnographic Technician.
CPAPtalk.com has created an "Introduction To The Sleep Lab" video that explains the process of verifying, diagnosing and treating Sleep Apnea. If you are curious about the process or would like to know what to expect during your sleep study you can view the video in the Videos Tab of this page.
If a sleep study determines you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you will need a "titration study" to determine the pressure level required to maintain your airway during sleep. A titration study may take place during the same night as your diagnosing sleep study or it may be scheduled for a later date.
Titration is a scientific lab term, meaning to slowly add a little bit more of something until you reach a desired effect. During your titration study, a skilled technician will monitor your sleep and slowly increase the air pressure on a CPAP machine until you are able to sleep without or with few sleep events (apneas and hypopneas). Your pressure needs vary throughout the night, so an overnight sleep study is required to prescribe you the correct pressure.
Your prescribed CPAP single pressure setting will be set to the highest level you needed during the night. By prescribing the highest pressure, your doctor hopes to prevent as many sleep events as possible. The downside of this approach is that you will have the highest pressure at all times even when it's only necessary for part of the night.
APAPs offer technologies which allow the pressure to be adjusted on a breath by breath basis, which you may find helps your therapy.
Yes. Both CPAP.com and Traditional Sleep Labs work closely with doctors to make the transition of paperwork seamless for the patient.
We provide a CPAPtalk.com tool to help you find sleep labs in your area. Simply click the link and enter your address or zipcode to find one near you.
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An overnight sleep study is usual indicated when seeking to diagnose if a patient is suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This sleep test, usually conducted in a specialized sleep lab by a sleep doctor and a respiratory therapist, is called a polysomnogram or polysomnography test; also known as a PSG. Signs or Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Often people are unaware that they may have Sleep Apnea or they do not realize they have difficulty breathing in their sleep at all. It is usually someone else who witnesses the person sleeping and having these events or obstructions, usually gasping for air or sudden stoppage of breathing while asleep, whereby they first become aware they may have Sleep Apnea.
Snoring is another big symptom but there are many people who snore who do not have sleep apnea. If snoring stops briefly and then resumes, that is a significant indicator of sleep apnea. Daytime tiredness or drowsiness, difficulty or lack of concentration, headaches, impotence or decreased sex drive, moodiness or irritability, lack of energy, acid reflux (gastro-esophageal reflux), restless sleep, tossing and turning, night sweats, memory problems, nighttime choking or chest pain, swelling of the legs in the obese, waking up foggy, groggy, or unrefreshed, anxiety, depression, increased urination at night; these could all be symptoms of Sleep Apnea. Some people first learn of the problem when they fall asleep at the wheel of a car, or are even involved in a car wreck or crash caused by the side effects of having untreated sleep apnea.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is the most recommended and the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
A CPAP machine provides air at a constant prescribed pressure through a tube, using a CPAP mask to deliver the air pressure to the person with obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which maintains the airway open so that uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. This eliminates sleep apnea events and allows the patient to get a restful sleep.
The pressure of the air is determined during your sleep study and your doctor will prescribe you a CPAP machine at that pressure.
CPAP therapy is traditionally provided through a nasal mask that seals around the nose. However, more innovative and comfortable options are available and advances in the delivery of CPAP therapy are continually occurring.
For instance: CPAPs which offer FLEX or EPR technology provide exhalation relief, a slight drop in pressure at the time of exhalation. APAP, BiPAP and BiLevel machines offer various levels of pressure throughout the night.
You can check out our Learning Center Definitions Page to become familiar with some common sleep apnea terms.
The following symptoms go hand and hand with Sleep Apnea:
Successful CPAP users report improvements in:
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to:
Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially fatal medical condition. If you or a loved one suspect you have it, you should be tested as soon as possible.