Tag Archives: sleep apnea

From the Comfort of Your Own Bed

How Home Sleep Studies Help Patients Rest Well

If you wake up a lot during the night or you feel exhausted during the day, you may have a sleep disorder.

Sleep studies can help your doctor determine if you have an underlying disorder that’s affecting how well you sleep. Some people may need to have an overnight study in a sleep lab, but others can benefit from an at-home test.

Dr. Sarkis Derderian

To have a home sleep study, your primary care physician has to order one. You can also schedule an appointment at Lexington Sleep Solutions for an initial evaluation. During that evaluation, if you qualify for a sleep study, the doctor can order a home sleep test or a sleep study to be completed at the sleep lab.

“A home sleep test measures heart rate, oxygen levels, airflow and breathing effort,” said Sarkis S. Derderian, DO, FCCP, at Lexington Sleep Solutions. “A small microphone on the home sleep test measures the degree of snoring.”

Home tests are ideal for people who are at high risk for sleep apnea. These people are frequently tired during the day, snore, have morning headaches, experience unrefreshing sleep, have difficulty concentrating or experience memory loss. Home sleep studies serve as a helpful tool to diagnose patients who are home bound, elderly or who require a caregiver.

But not all home sleep studies are created equally.

“Different types of devices measure different parameters. Some measure only two things, like oxygen and heart rate, while others measure four or more things, such as oxygen, heart rate, airflow and breathing effort,” said Dr. Derderian.

The biggest benefits of a home sleep test for patients are cost and convenience.

“Home tests are less expensive because they do not require ancillary support and equipment. You are able to pick up the equipment at your convenience and drop it off the next day without having to plan for an overnight stay,” he said.

You are also in the comfort of your own bed during a home test.

“Patients may feel a little hindered with a few extra wires, but most people do not have any trouble sleeping normally in their own beds. Sleeping normally will give the doctor the best picture of your sleep,” said Dr. Derderian.

At Lexington Sleep Solutions, a trained sleep technician shows you how to set up the equipment and answers any questions when you pick up the study equipment. When you return the next day, the sleep technician gathers your information for a board-certified sleep physician to interpret your results.

“If you do not have a high probability of sleep apnea, a home sleep test may not be beneficial to you,” said Dr. Derderian. “If you have certain medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, lung disease or neuromuscular disease, your physician may recommend that you complete an in-lab study that provides a more complete evaluation of your sleep.”


Growing Up with Good Sleep

Sleep Studies for Children at Lexington Sleep Solutions

At just nine years old, Hannah Shealy can tell you everything you need to know about having a sleep study. She has six of them under her belt.

“They stick stuff all over me,” she said. “Even my head!”

Hannah Shealy and her mom bed inside Lexington Sleep Solutions’ sleep lab before a sleep study

Hannah was born with a genetic disorder that keeps her face and skull bones from growing normally, which meant her nose and sinus passages tightened as she grew. The older Hannah got, the louder her snoring became—and the more difficult it was to get adequate sleep.

Sleep studies have guided her medical care. For a while, she wore a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask when she slept to keep her airway open.

“The sleep studies tell us how she’s sleeping and what might be wrong. The doctor uses the information to tell us what to do,” said Hannah’s mom Beth. “The studies helped us know when to have surgery and understand how she’s improved since the surgery.”

While good sleep is essential for all of us, it’s particularly important for children.

“It’s a vital function for brain development and well-being,” said Clarence E. Coker III, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Lexington Sleep Solutions. “When children have adequate sleep, they’re improving the details and retrievability of their memory so they can perform better on tests, socially, in interactions with family and friends, and in sports.”

Dr. Clarence Coker

Dr. Coker said the signs of sleep apnea in children—from toddlers to 18 year olds—shouldn’t be ignored.

“Loud snoring—anything more than a soft snore—should be discussed with your family doctor,” he said.

Sleep walking, sleep terrors or restless sleep also indicate inadequate sleep. Other indicators may not be as obvious. Seizures, ear infections, enlarged tonsils and even attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder warrant a sleep consultation with your doctor.

While sleep apnea in adults frequently coincides with obesity, children with the problem may have trouble growing. “The brain doesn’t slow down and sleep enough to maintain the appropriate growth for their age,” said Dr. Coker.

If your child is having trouble in school, or has trouble waking up or staying awake, talk to a doctor who has a good understanding of sleep.

Hannah had her sleep studies at Lexington Sleep Solutions, Lexington Medical Center’s sleep lab that offers comprehensive care for sleep disorders, and sleep studies to diagnose a variety of sleep-related issues. There are three locations in the Midlands, including one in Northeast Columbia. The practice provides services for children ages three and up.

For each study, Hannah brings along a favorite doll and pillow. After coloring and watching a few cartoons on television in the room, which resembles a comfortable hotel room, Hannah is asleep by about 9:00 p.m., secure with her mother Beth sleeping beside her.

“It’s like a sleepover party,” Beth said to Hannah.


Sweet Dreams of Better Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep affects everything from your daytime energy to heart health. If you’re having trouble catching ZZZs, the sleep lab at Lexington Sleep Solutions can help. Check out how in this news story from WIS-TV.