Between 50 million and 70 million Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need thanks to a sleep disorder. While there are many issues that can rob you of your sleep, sleep apnea is certainly one of the more common, affecting at least 30 million people in the United States.
At South County Sleep Solutions and Prescott Sleep Solutions, Dr. Dana J. Rockey and our teams are experts in helping clients get the rest they need when sleep apnea is present. While we assure you that there are effective solutions for sleep apnea, the first step is to figure out whether this common condition is the culprit behind your sleep issue.
To do that, we turn to a sleep study and, thanks to modern technology, in many cases you no longer need to pack your overnight bag, as the test can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
What a sleep study accomplishes
As the name suggests, during a sleep study we monitor and record all aspects of your sleep. In general, there are two stages to your sleep — rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) — and you cycle through these about 4-6 times each night.
During a sleep study, we not only record your REM and NREM stages, we also monitor your breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, body position, and other key vitals.
Previous to current technology, we nearly always needed to conduct a sleep study in a special clinic, which meant you had to sleep in a strange bed where you were hooked up to machines and monitoring equipment.
Thanks to modern technology, we can gather the appropriate information from the comfort of your own home, as long as you have a smart phone and internet.
Studying your sleep from the comfort of home
At our practice, we use a technology called WatchPAT® ONE, which is an easy-to-use, at-home sleep test.
Once you receive the test kit, you need to download the app for the test, which will provide you with step-by-step instructions for using WatchPAT ONE. In a nutshell, right before you go to bed, you’ll attach three things to your body before you sleep:
- A snoring and body position sensor just above your sternum
- A wrist device
- A probe on your index finger
After you enter the passcode that we give you, all you need to do is to follow the app’s instructions for placing the devices, and then you hit “start.”
You’ll need to keep your phone plugged in and within 15 feet from where you sleep, as the devices transmit information throughout the night.
When you wake up, you wait for a few minutes while the data is downloaded and, once complete, you simply close out the app and remove and throw away the equipment.
What your sleep test tells us
To give you an idea about how accurate and comprehensive this type of testing is, we can gather/create the following information with WatchPAT ONE:
- Apnea/hypopnea per hour
- Central apnea/hypopnea per hour
- Number of apnea episodes
- Body position
- Oxygen and heart rate changes
- Sleep stages
- Respiratory chart
- Apnea severity scale
This information is invaluable in helping our Sleep Physician partners to determine whether sleep apnea is behind your sleep issues, thus allowing us to find the best treatment option to improve your breathing throughout the night.
If you want to get on the road to sleeping more soundly through the night, please call us at 949-558-0554 in Newport Beach, California, or 928-235-6925 in Prescott, Arizona, to learn more about at-home sleep testing.