Dr. Aarthi Raghavan, DMD

A diagnosis while you sleep at home!

Medicine and medical consults have come a long way. From telemedicine to at home patient care, every effort is being made to improve to access to care for patients, to get them the best care, for their optimal health. Let’s learn about how an At-home sleep Study can help you in your journey to a healthy body!

What is a sleep study?

Our sleep has several functions. If we considered the brain a super computer, you can partly consider the sleep a “disk clean-up” process. One of the hypothesized functions of sleep is to eliminate excessive data and help consolidate and “save” important data. Remember when mom asked us to go to bed with the book under our bed?

Apart from that sleep time is when many “R and R “hormones are released. Examples are growth hormone, which is highly essential for relaxation and recuperation of muscles.

A sleep study or polysomnography is a diagnostic study that is used to diagnose any disorders or dysfunctions happening during sleep. Several different data streams including Oxygen saturation, Brain waves or EEG waves, Ocular movement (eye movement) Carbon Dioxide Saturation, heart rate and breathing rate, body positions, muscular effort (the muscles involved in breathing by tracking chest movement), leg movement etc are recorded to discern the quality of sleep.

Previously, sleep studies were always done in a lab. This sometimes-put immense pressure on some patients because they simply could not get comfortable in a new setting, more so if the patient already has sleep disorders like insomnia. It also put immense pressure on the physicians considering the timeline to get pre-approvals for the studies, from insurances

Technology to the rescue! We now have wonderful data tracking sleep Study machines with simple and easy to follow instructions so the patient can get an optimal diagnosis while getting their routine sleep at home, this also makes it more optimal in diagnosis because the patient is just following their regular sleep regimen and additional stressors like a new place are not contributing to it.

Types of sleep Study:

Type I——-In lab sleep study ( the most accurate with maximum data, monitored by a technologist)

Type II ———Comparable to type I ( Comprehensive portable Polysomnography)

Type III ———-Modified Portable ( usually monitors up to 3 leads of data)

Type IV ———-Type 4 – continuous single or dual bioparameter recording.( usually monitors a single or utmost two leads of data, eg; Oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation

The Z machine

This portable (at home ) study monitor is a type II monitor used by our practice. It gives us the maximum possible data, other than leg movement details and helps us get our patients the most accurate diagnosis.

The process is straight forward and the machine is easy to use. Once the patient drops the study off, the study is evaluated and certified by a physician and the results discussed with the patient along with different treatment options and lifestyle changes or other adjunctive therapy.

Timely Diagnosis

One in five persons is believed to have Obstructive sleep apnea. This number increases even further when other sleep Disorders like Insomnia, Snoring, Periodic Limb Movement disorder etc are also considered. 80% of patients with OSAS go undiagnosed in their lifetime which increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, motor vehicle accidents etc.

A timely diagnosis can save a life and improve the quality of your life!

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