Do you go to bed only to wake up feeling drowsy and unrested? You may have sleep apnea, which is a common sleeping disorder that occurs when the airway is blocked or obstructed, making it difficult to breathe during sleep. If you suspect that this is the case, your dentist may order a sleep test. This can be conducted in a lab or at home, and the test will provide valuable information about your potential sleep apnea. Read on to learn how you can prepare for your sleep test as well as what you can expect during the study itself.
What Happens During a Sleep Test?
Whether your sleep test is in a lab or at home, you will undergo diagnostics that measure your oxygen levels, heart rate, and other factors while you sleep. It’s a noninvasive process that will last about 12 hours. Typically, in-lab sleep tests yield more accurate results because there is someone to watch the study the entire time. However, the argument can be made that patients feel more relaxed and comfortable on their own, leading to a more natural sleeping session during at-home sleep testing.
How Should You Prepare for a Sleep Test?
If your dentist recommended keeping a sleep diary to track your rest, bring it to your appointment for the sleep expert to review (for a lab test). Make sure to communicate with your dentist about any medications you’re taking in the weeks leading up to your study. In some cases, they may ask you to stop taking medication for more accurate results.
If you’re attending an in-person sleep study, take a few days to pack an overnight bag with everything you need, including toiletries, comfortable pajamas, a change of clothes for the next day, and anything else that will help you feel relaxed.
Should You Do Anything the Day Before Your Sleep Test?
The day before your test, it’s a good idea to gather all of your insurance information, a list of your medications, and your packed overnight bag. Additionally, avoid drinking caffeine after 2pm and don’t drink alcohol. You should also do the best you can to skip napping throughout the day to prevent difficulties falling asleep during the study. The closer you can stick to your normal routine and eating schedule, the more accurate your test will be.
Are you ready to tackle your sleep apnea head on? Now that you know what to expect during a test, you can have peace of mind when you take your first step toward a better night’s sleep.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Dustin C. Lively is a Magnum native who takes pride in helping his patients get better sleep for more productive days. He has extensive training and experience when it comes to sleep apnea therapy, providing custom-made oral appliances as effective treatment options. If you want to request an at-home sleep test, Dr. Lively can be contacted through his website or by phone at (580) 782-2027.