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Could a bad night’s sleep be bad for your health? Yes! In the long term, the consequences of untreated sleep disorders may include high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and obesity, just to name a few.
If you have a sleep disorder and stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night, not only will you suffer from a bad night’s sleep but your heart is working extra hard. Learn how a sleep study could save your life.
Who's at risk for a sleep disorder?
Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, and its symptoms are worse in middle-aged adults between 40 and 60 years old. However, it affects people of all ages, including a small percentage of children. The most common risk factors are:
- Excess weight
- High blood pressure
- A narrowed airway
- Being male
- A family history of sleep apnea
- Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
Testing of adults and adolescents for:
What is a sleep study?
After an initial consultation with your physician or a sleep specialist, you may be referred for a sleep study. A sleep study (polysomnogram) is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure typically done in a sleep center.
A sleep technologist records multiple biological functions during sleep such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart rhythm and breathing via electrodes and monitors placed on the head, chest and legs. The data is recorded and interpreted by a board-certified physician.
Treatment may be given during the study and may include oxygen or a continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) mask. A CPAP helps hold the air passages in the nose and throat open during sleep and eliminates snoring and pauses in breathing.
Questions to ask when choosing a Sleep Center.
- Is the center accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine?
- Are the physicians board certified in sleep medicine?
- Are the physicians on site at the center and available to answer patient’s questions?
- Is the technician registered by the Board of Registered Polysomographic Technologists?
- Is the technician-to-patient ratio during testing consistent with the guideline set forth by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine?
- Is the center equipped to assess any and all diagnostic possibilities?
- How comprehensive is the center?
- Is there a variety of partnering specialties to best serve my needs? (for example, psychology, ear, nose, throat, etc.)
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