How a Sleep Study Works

sleep study at home or at a lab

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life and overall health. If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, seek treatment at Garden Oaks Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Schedule your appointment today by calling our Denton, TX, dentists at (940) 566-4888.

woman covering her ears with her pillows to block out her partner's excessive snoring

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, called apneas, can occur multiple times per hour, leading to disrupted sleep patterns and various health issues.

The two primary types of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax excessively, leading to a temporary blockage of the upper airway.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Less common, CSA occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

What Is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study is a non-invasive procedure that helps medical professionals evaluate and diagnose sleep disorders. It provides comprehensive information about your sleep patterns, breathing, brain activity, and body movements at night. By monitoring these factors, doctors can gain valuable insights into the quality and quantity of your sleep and identify any underlying issues that may be affecting your overall health.

Types of Sleep Studies

  • Diagnostic Sleep Study (Polysomnography): This is the most common type of sleep study used to diagnose sleep disorders. It monitors various physiological parameters, including brain activity, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, respiratory effort, airflow, and oxygen levels.
  • Split-Night Sleep Study: In cases where severe sleep disorders are suspected, a split-night sleep study may be conducted. During the first half of the night, diagnostic monitoring is performed, and if a sleep disorder is confirmed, treatment options such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy may be initiated during the second half of the night.
  • Home Sleep Study: Home sleep studies, also known as portable monitoring, are a less comprehensive but more convenient option for diagnosing specific sleep disorders like sleep apnea. They typically monitor fewer parameters and are suitable for certain cases where full polysomnography is not necessary.

The Sleep Study Process

When it comes to undergoing a sleep study, you’ll go through the following steps:

  1. Consultation and Preparation: Your journey begins with a consultation with Drs. Ruehle and Eide in Denton. During this initial visit, you’ll discuss your sleep concerns, medical history, and any symptoms you’ve been experiencing. We’ll explain the sleep study process, address any questions or concerns you may have, and refer you to a sleep specialist. 
  2. Study Setup: When you arrive at the sleep clinic, a sleep technologist will guide you through the study setup. Electrodes will be gently attached to various parts of your body, including your scalp, temples, chest, and legs, to monitor brain waves, eye movements, muscle activity, and heart rhythm. Sensors will be placed near your nose and mouth to track breathing patterns, and a pulse oximeter will be clipped to your finger to measure blood oxygen levels.
  3. Bedtime Routine: Once the sensors and electrodes are in place, it’s time for bed. The sleep technologist will ensure you’re comfortable and that the equipment is functioning correctly. You’ll be able to sleep in a private room designed to promote a relaxed environment that closely resembles your bedroom at home.
  4. Data Collection: Throughout the night, the sleep technologist will carefully monitor and record various data points, including brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, breathing patterns, and limb movements. The data collected will provide valuable insights into your sleep architecture and help identify any disruptions or abnormalities.
  5. Morning Evaluation: After a night of monitoring, the sleep technologist will remove the sensors and electrodes. You’ll have the opportunity to freshen up before a post-study evaluation. They’ll thoroughly analyze the data collected during your sleep study to interpret the results accurately.
  6. Diagnosis and Treatment: If you get diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’ll return to our dental practice. Our Denton dentists will go over your treatment options and help you decide on the best one for your needs. 

Common Sleep Disorders Diagnosed With Sleep Studies

Several sleep disorders can be diagnosed with sleep studies, including:

  • Sleep Apnea: Characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder.
  • Insomnia: Sleep tests can help identify the underlying causes of insomnia, such as restless leg syndrome or other sleep-related movement disorders.
  • Narcolepsy: A sleep test can confirm narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden muscle weakness or paralysis (cataplexy).
  • Parasomnias: These include sleepwalking, night terrors, and REM sleep behavior disorder, which can be diagnosed and monitored through a sleep study.

sleep study at home or at a lab

Frequently Asked Questions

From Restless Nights to Peaceful Slumber

Don’t let another sleepless night pass you by. If you’ve been struggling with sleep issues, it’s time to take control of your sleep health. A sleep study can provide the answers you’ve been seeking, helping you uncover the root cause of your sleep troubles and pave the way for effective treatment. 

Don’t wait any longer to prioritize your well-being. Contact our Denton dental office by calling [(940) 566-4888 today. Your journey to restful nights and an improved quality of life begins now. We’re proud to serve patients in Denton and surrounding areas, including Corinth, Argyle, and Krum, TX.

Garden Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

3312 Teasley Ln.
Suite 200
Denton, TX 76210

Office Hours

8:30am – 5:30pm
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7:00am – 4:00pm