Diagnosing

Sleep Disorders

Properly evaluating and diagnosing sleep disorders is crucial for proper treatment or therapy. Patients who complain or are suspected of having a sleep disorder are usually referred to a sleep laboratory or sleep center for evaluation.

Evaluations of sleep disorders is typically done by physician which includes a thorough history and sleep consultation. The history will cover past medical history and current co-morbidity or mortality factors the patient is suffering from (high blood pressure, past heart attack, past stroke, obesity, etc.). The patient will also usually complete a sleep diary, which is a daily log sheet for approximately 7 to 14 days that includes their bedtime, their rise time, any naps during the day, and any medications or beverages (such as coffee) that can act as a stimulant to keep the patient awake.

Patients typically undergo a full night sleep study (polysomnogram) that monitor many facets of a patient sleep. Parameters that are typically monitored for an in-lab sleep study include, but are not limited to:
 

 

  • EEG (monitors brain waves for stages asleep and when patient arouses or awakens)

  • EOG (monitors eye movement to show when a patient in in REM sleep)

  • EMG (monitors muscle tone for different stages asleep)

  • ECG (monitors heart rate and rhythm to identify any cardiac at the maladies)

  • pressure transducer (monitors airflow detected at nose and mouth to detect reduction of airflow)

  • Thermal transducer (monitors airflow detected at nose and mouth to detect airflow sensation or apneas)

  • Respiratory belts (monitors effort of the patient trying to breathe)

  • Snore sensor/microphone (monitors patients snoring)

  • Pulse oximeter (monitors patients oxygen via sensor on finger)

  • Body position sensor

  • Limb leads (monitors leg movement as some patients may suffer from restless leg or periodically movement disorder)

Home Sleep Testing

 

Home sleep testing (HST) can also be done for patient suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea. The home sleep testing devices are typically limited in the number of channels or parameters recorded from a patient. Parameters that are typically monitored for an home sleep test sleep study include, but are not limited to:

  • ECG (monitors heart rate and rhythm to identify any cardiac at the maladies)

  • Pressure transducer (monitors airflow detected at nose and mouth to detect reduction of airflow)

  • Thermal transducer (monitors airflow detected at nose and mouth to detect airflow sensation or apneas)

  • Respiratory belts (monitors effort of the patient trying to breathe)

  • Snore sensor/microphone (monitors patients snoring)

  • Body position sensor

  • Pulse oximeter (monitors patients oxygen via sensor on finger)

 

Home sleep testing equipment can be mailed directly to a patient’s home, with instructions on how a patient apply all of the sensors and monitors on either themselves or their partner. Once a study has been recorded, the patient can typically take the device put it in a self-addressed returned package and send it back to the facility for a physician to interpret with the interpretation being sent back to the primary care physician within the approximately seven days.