How To Master Your Sleep Study

If you think you have sleep apnea, the first step towards receiving treatment is a correct diagnosis. For a diagnosis, you’ll undergo a sleep study either in the comfort of your own home or at a lab. Each option carries its own set of benefits and limitations. If you’d like, Dr. Bassford can recommend a sleep specialist that’s in line with your goals and preferences. 

The Purpose of a Sleep Study

Sleep studies will help correctly diagnose your sleep disorder prior to starting treatment with Dr. Bassford. It measures your heart rate, oxygen saturation, eye movements, leg movements, and behaviors such as sleepwalking and sleep cycles. The data is recorded for a doctor to review. Then, they’ll provide you with a diagnosis.

Conducting an At-Home Test

An at-home sleep study is performed in the comfort of your own home. You’ll get to carry out your usual nightly routine and many patients feel more at ease in their own environment. The test will be given to you by a doctor for you to take home. It will come with instructions on how to apply the test sensors. 

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll simply take off the device and follow the instructions on what to do next. At-home sleep studies are more advanced than ever, however, many are capable of diagnosing only sleep apnea. So if you have other suspicions about your sleeping behavior, you may want to participate in a test at a clinic. 

What to Expect During an In-Lab Test

Another option for diagnosis is to undergo a sleep test either at a clinic or a hospital. Many patients think that they’ll have difficulty falling asleep, but this typically isn’t an issue. An in-lab test measures everything an at-home test records and it also takes into account brainwave activity. 

Therefore it’s helpful in diagnosing more severe disorders. Dr. Bassford will work with you to help determine which you would benefit from the most.

Preparing For Your Sleep Study

There isn’t too much preparation involved prior to the study. You’ll want to carry out your day as you normally would so that the test accurately reflects your condition. To get the most out of your sleep study, there are a few tips you’ll want to follow to ensure the test is accurate, including:

  • Limit caffeine after lunchtime
  • Avoid napping
  • Avoid alcohol 12 hours prior to your study
  • Avoid anything else that could interfere with sleep

If you follow these tips, you’ll get the most out of your study. If you’re going to a sleep lab, you’ll want to pack an overnight bag with hygiene items, comfortable clothes or pajamas, and anything that helps you fall asleep.

Your Ticket to a Better Night’s Rest

Treatment for sleep apnea begins with a diagnosis. Contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (301) 593-5500. During the consultation, Dr. Bassford will thoroughly examine your symptoms and determine if you would benefit from a sleep study. Once we have a clear diagnosis on hand, we can begin treatment right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I wake up during the night of my sleep study?

If you wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, such as to use the bathroom or get some water, leave the device on. It’s vital that you continue recording all night. 

When you wake up after a night’s rest, that’s when you should turn off the device and place the equipment back into the case, with the exception of the nasal cannula which will be discarded. Return the system according to the instructions you were given.  

How long do you need to sleep for a sleep study?

The sleep test requires at least seven hours of sleep to gather enough data to analyze and make an accurate diagnosis. Times can vary according to your normal sleep schedule. If you’re participating in an in-lab test, patients typically arrive between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm and leave between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. 

Is a sleep study worth it?

Yes– while many people avoid sleep apnea treatment due to the fear of costly treatments, they may not realize that insurance typically covers a portion of the cost. There are also serious and costly health consequences of untreated sleep apnea that may have been prevented with treatment. 

To see if your insurance plan covers a sleep test, we recommend contacting your provider to get specific details on your coverage. If there are any questions we can answer, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (301) 593-5500 and a knowledgeable team member will be happy to assist you.

How long will it take to get my results after a sleep study?

After a sleep study, it typically takes one to two weeks for a technician to score your data and a sleep specialist to review it. The sleep specialist will forward the information including your diagnosis to Dr. Bassford. She’ll review the results and create a customized treatment plan to meet your needs.

If you completed an at-home sleep study, your physician will review the information and provide you with a diagnosis within about two weeks.

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10301 Georgia Ave, Suite 207
Silver Spring, MD 20902