Do you have a sleep disorder? Find out with a sleep diagnosis
A sleep test can help you find the type and cause of your sleep disorder. It’s the first step in finding a treatment to overcome it.
Are you ready for a sleep test?
A sleep disorder can have a big impact on your health, and your life.
The effects of sleep deprivation can cause to to perform poorly at work, put you at risk for accidents, and affect your mood and your relationships.
The most obvious symptom to watch out for is feeling tired during the day. Other symptoms including snoring, weight gain, relationship problems, and being accident prone, but, the only way to know definitively if you have a sleeping disorder and what’s causing it is to undergo and sleep study or test.
Study your sleep at the lab
If you doctor or dentist suspects that a sleep disorder is at the root of your sleep problem, he or she will refer you to a sleep clinic. Under the supervision of a sleep specialist, you’ll undergo a series of tests while you sleep. Common sleep disorders that can be diagnosed at a sleep center are:
- Insomnia: the inability to fall asleep
- Narcolepsy: a disorder that involves sudden onset of sleep
- Restless leg syndrome: a condition that creates an urge to move your legs
- Sleep apnea: A disorder that causes you to stop breathing while sleeping
So what does a sleep disorder diagnosis have to do with a dentist?
If sleep apnea is your sleep disorder diagnosis, the most commonly prescribed treatment is CPAP. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It involves the use of a machine that delivers a steady stream of air to your lungs while you sleep, keeping your airways open, and you from continually waking up. While an effective sleep apnea treatment, CPAP can be noisy and uncomfortable. So much so that some patients forgo the treatment, and their sleep apnea symptoms return.
If you are struggling with your CPAP treatment, talk to your doctor about it. Abandoning treatment can have dangerous consequences.
In some cases, a sleep orthotic fitted by a dentist can help to keep your airway open while you sleep.
MEET YOUR MOUTH DOCTOR
What is sleep apnea?
OSA causes your breathing to stop momentarily while you sleep. During these episodes of interrupted breathing, your blood oxygen level drops. This drop in blood oxygen causes your brain to awaken and resume breathing.
Although you most likely are not conscious of these episodes, and may not remember them in the morning, they can disrupt your sleep.
Sleep apnea is often classified by its severity. This is based on how often your apneas occur and how low your blood oxygen level goes.
Being awakened continually throughout the night can make it very difficult for you to reach and remain in the deeper stages of sleep that are important to physical and mental rejuvenation.