Henry Thompson works 10 hours a day and gets 6 hours of sleep each night. He would like to reverse that and work 6 hours and sleep 10. But he is providing for his three children and wife. The oldest child is graduating high school next month and hoping to get admitted to college.
Henry has high blood pressure and he snores loudly all night long. He suspects he has sleep apnea and he is beginning to worry about it. His friend Tony told him about the sleep clinic in the hospital. Tony explained the routine- Finding time to get to a sleep center to meet with a doctor for evaluation, schedule a sleep study, take a night out of the house to sleep in the lab, then meet again with the doctor to discuss prognosis and treatment options . The hospital is a 1 1/2 hour drive for Henry. Henry felt that he just could not take off work that much, even for something as important as his health.
And then he heard “home sleep tests” could be ordered by dentists.
He found a dentist, near his home, who had been trained in dental sleep medicine by Sleep Group Solutions. He made an appointment with that dentist, had an overnight sleep test in the comfort of his own bed, was treated by that dentist, and Henry’s story had a happy ending. Henry slept happily and healthy ever after.
Home sleep studies, like those offered by InterpStudies, a division of Sleep Group Solutions, sends a report by a board certified Sleep Medicine Physician within five business days to a sleep trained dentist.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “These tests usually involve measuring your heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns. If you have sleep apnea, the test results will show drops in your oxygen level during apneas and subsequent rises with awakenings.” The information the HST collects may also include snoring sounds and head and neck movements.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) approves the use of home sleep tests. The following criteria must be met:
- You are between 18 and 65 years of age.
- You have a high risk of moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.
- You have no other major medical problems.
- You have no other sleep disorders.
You also may be eligible for a home sleep test if health or safety concerns prevent you from being able to leave home for a night. A home sleep test also may be used to evaluate your response to some sleep apnea treatments, including oral appliances, surgery, and weight loss.
But what if the nearest sleep center is hours away or booked up for months? Or what if a disability, or dependents, or a job makes a night in a lab too difficult? In cases such as these, a sleep dentist might prescribe a home-testing kit.
USA TODAY Reports:
Home sleep studies use a less-expensive test that’s gaining ground across the nation, thanks largely to a push by insurance companies and mounting evidence of its effectiveness.
“You get to sleep in your own bed with your own pillow,” said Dr. Laddie Tackett, medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. “It makes testing more accessible. It makes it more affordable. It makes it more convenient.” They are less than half the price — up to $400 for a home test, compared with as much as $1,300 in a hospital.
The advantages of a Home Sleep Study are many:
comfort, convenience, time. travel and cost.
Be aware that untreated Sleep Apnea is a major risk factor of strokes. One out of 15 adults has moderate to severe sleep apnea and men with moderate to severe sleep apnea are 4 times more likely to have a stroke.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were four times more likely to have a stroke even when results were adjusted for factors like obesity, cholesterol levels, hypertension, and smoking.
How? Simply stated, when there are repeated cessations in breathing, as in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, adequate oxygen is not carried to the brain.
The National Stroke Foundation explains that “sleep apnea can be an after effect of stroke, but can also be the cause of a first time or recurrent stroke. The condition causes low oxygen levels and high blood pressure, both of which can increase the risk of a future stroke.”
Isn’t this another good reason for you to get a sleep test?
Read the signs and symptoms from the Center of Disease Control (CDC):