Late last year my dentist asked me if I snore when I sleep while examining me. I answered positively and he gave me two questionnaires that are used to determine whether a sleep study is recommended. evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea for several reasons. What made him think suspect OSA was the state of a crown which was ruined from grinding my teeth.
What made my dentist suspect obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was the state of a crown which was ruined from grinding my teeth. Apparently ,the body reopens a blocked or partially blocked airway by grinding the teeth.
Secondly, he noticed my airway seemed narrower during his exam. The questionnaires along with the physical symptoms revealed I qualified for a sleep study and was likely to have OSA. My dentist sent this off to a sleep lab for scheduling.
The sleep lab was a nice comfortable facility but I had a terrible time trying to sleep and ended up with less than 3 hours of sleep. Fortunately, it was enough for a diagnosis! I did learn what I want to do different if I have to do another sleep study.
Take Sleep Aids
Although I took a low dose melatonin it wasn’t enough for me to fall asleep with the anxiety of being hooked up with multiple wires, oximeter and a camera watching.
Not to mention the numerous times the technician came in because the wires weren’t recording data. Next time, I would ask for a prescription medication to ensure I get some sleep.
The facility was nice and almost as good as a hotel room (with the exception of a shared bathroom).
But I had trouble with the temperature (too cold) and the pillow wasn’t as comfortable as I’d like. I recommend bringing your own pillow(s) and blankets to aid in replicating your own bedroom comfort.
It’s hard to fall asleep if you’re hungry and it’s true whether you’re at home or a sleep lab. Pack snacks that are your go-to bedroom foods. The lab had a Keurig so I could have brought K-cups of my favorite cocoa, teas or even soup.
I did bring a small pack of almonds and ate it in the middle of the night when my stomach was growling and I was wide awake.
You are at a sleep lab to do just that — sleep. For many people, it’s helpful to relax either reading or watching videos. The sleep lab advertised a television in every room with satellite cable. Great except when it was not working such as the night I was there.
I had thrown a magazine in my bag but it didn’t last long. Bring enough reading material and downloaded videos to induce sleep (or at least give you something to do if you can’t sleep).
I went to sleep around 2:30 am and was awakened at 5 am by a too bright-eyed sleep technician. Two weeks later I got the diagnosis of moderate obstructive sleep apnea. What happens next is a story for another day.
What tips do you have for anyone preparing for a sleep study?
Kendall Everett says
I love the idea of packing snacks with you to the sleep study. Like you mentioned, I also have a hard time falling asleep if I’m hungry so packing something to satisfy that hunger would be important. I think it would also be great to pack a food you are comfortable eating so you aren’t nervous about how it will affect you.