Are you finding that a “good night’s sleep” is hard to come by?
The symptoms of sleep apnea – the general term for sleep disorders – are brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. Nearly 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea according to the National Institute of Health. Other symptoms are excessive daytime fatigue, snoring, falling asleep easily and sometimes at inappropriate places or times. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, headaches, depression, car accidents and job impairment.
- Over 40
- Alcohol Abuse
These are just a few factors, but sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, including children.
What to expect
A sleep study is an overnight procedure – a polysomnogram – inside the JCMH Sleep Lab. Electrodes are connected to the patient’s head and chest to measure brain waves, eye and chin movement, stages of sleep and heart rate and rhythm. A chest band measures breathing movement and additional monitors measure oxygen levels as well as leg movements. The monitors are not painful and no needles are involved in the sleep study. This data is analyzed and reviewed by a physician, who then makes appropriate recommendations to manage the condition.
Patients are “tucked in” for a night of rest and observation at 8:30 p.m. The setup process takes forty minutes. The observation then begins. Monitoring equipment is placed on the patient that allows observation of sleeping patterns. The sleep study takes 6 to 7 hours. Most insurance covers the test.
JCMH Sleep Lab staff accommodates a parent staying overnight with a child who is having a sleep study performed.
Patients will attend a follow-up appointment with their personal physician to learn the results of the study.
Most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP or BiPAP therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), although there are three types of sleep apnea; Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea and Mixed Sleep Apnea.
Most patients experience a dramatic resolution of their symptoms following a sleep study with treatment.
Signs & symptoms:
- Do you snore?
- Do you feel very sleepy or feel like nodding off during the day?
- Does your partner tell you that you stop breathing during sleep?
- Do you feel tired when you wake up?
- Do you often wake up with headaches?
- Is it hard to stay awake while driving?
If you or your partner answer yes to any of these questions, you could have sleep apnea and should talk to your physician.
Home Sleep Studies
A Home Sleep Study is a simplified version of an Overnight Attended Sleep Study that focuses on nocturnal breathing. Home sleep studies are only used to diagnose or rule out obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because the emphasis is on breathing, it’s possible to use fewer sensors.
Not all patients are good candidates for a home test and not all insurance carriers will cover the cost of the study.
If you need a sleep study, your doctor will make a recommendation based on your specific situation whether you should have your test done in the lab or at home.
If you’ve been scheduled for a home sleep study, you’ll need to pick up the equipment from the sleep lab.
You’ll meet with a sleep technologist to learn how to properly place the sensors and start the study. That night, before bed, you’ll need to secure sensors to your upper lip, throat, chest, abdomen and finger. These sensors will record information about your airflow, snoring, breathing effort, heart rate and oxygen levels throughout the night. In the morning, you’ll remove the sensors, return everything to the test kit that was provided to you and return to the sleep lab so that we can download and analyze the data.
Pediatric Sleep Studies
Also called a pediatric polysomnogram or PSG. Children require special attention when undergoing a sleep study . At JCMH, we provide personalized care with fully qualified sleep technicians to oversee their visit with us; from arriving at the lab, to waking up the next morning. The ‘unknown’ can be more frightening for the parents than the child, so our staff are ready to answer questions before, during and after the test.
Pediatric Sleep Studies are performed by specially trained Registered Sleep Technologists, and reviewed by Board Certified Sleep Physician. The JCMH Sleep Lab offers sleep studies for children as young as 5 years old who are having difficulty falling or staying asleep. Pediatric sleep disorders are becoming more widely recognized as physicians, teachers, and parents learn more about the warning signs in young people. Children who are difficult to awaken in the morning or who have trouble staying awake during the day may benefit from an evaluation by a JCMH sleep specialist.
Pediatric sleep disorders can affect school performance and test scores and also may cause an inability to pay attention during class. Parents are required to stay with children under age 10 (depending on the child) during the overnight studies. The Sleep Disorders team carefully diagnoses and cares for children with any type of sleep disorder, and provides support and education to parents. Children with sleep disorders may show, such as excitability, irritability, difficulty staying focused on tasks or school activities, and poor attention span.
Children with upper airway restriction may not snore like adults; instead, they may have raspy breathing or sound congested while sleeping. In some cases, a child’s symptoms of sleep disorder mirror symptoms often associated with attention deficit disorder/attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).
Proper diagnosis is a necessary first step to assure that symptoms are treated properly.
The JCMH Sleep Lab carefully diagnoses and cares for children with any type of sleep disorder, including:
- Behavioral problems – Bedtime struggles and night waking.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity – ADHD.
- Bruxism – The grinding of teeth during sleep.
- Parasomnias – Sleep walking, sleep terrors.
- Circadian rhythm disorders – Delayed sleep phase syndrome.
- Central apnea – Cessation of airflow at the mouth or nose because of a decrease in or absence of respiratory effort, most commonly seen in infants or patients with neurological disorders.
- Central alveolar hypoventilation – Inadequate respiratory drive during sleep to maintain normal gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood), which may occur in episodic form in many patients, but in a continuous, more severe form in a small subset of patients.
- Obstructive apnea syndrome – A clinical condition that may occur at any age, usually associated with snoring (except in infancy) and manifested by increased work of breathing and repeated episodes of partial or complete obstruction to airflow through the mouth and nose during sleep.
- Chronic respiratory failure – Select infants and children may require nightly (or more frequent) mechanical ventilary support due to a disease involving the central nervous system, respiratory muscles, chest wall and/or lungs. The most important and reliable time to assess the adequacy of the patient’s ventilatory assistance is during sleep.
- Narcolepsy – Excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations, usually occurring in adolescence or early adulthood.
- Rhythmic movement disorders – Body rocking, head banging, head rolling, and periodic limb movement disorder.