When you have sleep apnea, you don’t sleep soundly. You might not fully wake up, but you become semi-conscious several times during the night. As a result, you can't get a full night's rest.
A lot of people have sleep apnea and don't know it. Many people think heavy snoring is an indicator, but that isn’t always the case. And you can't go to the doctor to get a blood test -- or any other test -- to find out if you have it. You must take what’s known as a sleep study to know for sure. I took one, and here's what happened:
What Happens During a Sleep Study?
The doctor uses a sleep study to monitor your breathing and oxygen levels. This tells them how many times you wake up during the night.
The doctor gave me a monitor to wear around my chest while I was asleep. It came with straps and was easy to put on. I also wore a finger monitor throughout the night to measure my oxygen levels. I did this for a couple of nights. In some instances, you may go to a medical center for a sleep study, but you can usually do it at home with a test kit your doctor prescribes. Talk to your doctor to determine the best way to do your sleep study.
Can I Take the Monitor Off?
While the monitor didn’t get in the way of me sleeping, it was a little bit uncomfortable. But it's important not to remove the monitor or the device on your finger as this is how your doctor gets the information.
One thing that helped me was wearing the device for a little bit before I turned it on. Once it felt comfortable, I was able to turn it on and go to sleep.
Dealing With Sleep Study Anxiety
There's no need to be afraid of a sleep study if your doctor suggests that you take one. It’s really a simple way to figure out if you have sleep apnea. This study also determines the severity of your sleep apnea and how professionals can treat it.
But it's natural to feel a little bit of anxiety before your sleep study. I didn't know what to expect before I took mine, and I did feel a little worried. The important thing to remember is that this study is a key part of your sleep apnea diagnosis if you happen to have it. It will determine how your condition will be treated.
I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea. The doctor gave me a CPAP device. I wear this mask every night, and my sleep patterns are a lot better. I feel refreshed in the morning, and I no longer fall asleep during the day.
By undergoing the study, you are taking a big step in your treatment of sleep apnea. I’m happy that I took it; my CPAP device has enhanced the quality of my life. Without taking my sleep study, I would never have known that I had sleep apnea. Taking the study was one of the best things that I’ve done for my health.
- The sleep study is easy to do.
- Talk to your doctor about the sleep study.
- The sleep monitor is not painful.
- The sleep study helps with your diagnosis.
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