You are currently viewing Tips on how to test and diagnose sleep apnea

Tips on how to test and diagnose sleep apnea

There’s a test called a polysomnogram. Polysomnogram is a sleep apnea test. For clarity, we need to explain the meaning of sleep apnea and what a polysomnogram entails. Therefore, please sit tight and shun all distractions right now. The essence of putting this write-up together is to help people understand tips on testing and diagnosing sleep apnea. 

What is sleep apnea and its symptom?

Sleep apnea (SA) is a severe sleep disorder that can be life-threatening if left untreated. SA occurs when one’s breathing stops and repeatedly starts while one is asleep. Also, sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much to allow breathing. On the other hand, sleep apnea treatment required when the brain cannot send the proper signal to the muscles that control breathing. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.   

However, how will one know if one is battling with sleep apnea? One of the most common signs of SA is when one snores loudly during sleep. If people around you have been complaining about how you vibrate while sleeping, you need to visit your doctor for a proper checkup. Of course, the fact remains that the first step you need to take, even if people tell you that you snore loudly while sleeping, is to visit your doctor. Do you know why you need to see your doctor? Not all who snore are battling with SA. So, you need to visit your doctor to examine you. We are still going to talk about the test. 

Also, people with SA always gasp for air while sleeping. This symptom is hundred percent real and inevitable. You might be struggling with sleep apnea when you notice that you always gasp for air while sleeping. We have heard countless people saying that the only sign they saw was gasping for air during sleep. 

One may also feel dry mouth after sleep. If you find breathing so hard with your nose, and you only try to pass out the air by opening your mouth, you may feel dry mouth after sleep. You need to see your doctor. Awakening with a dry mouth is a sign that one is battling sleep apnea. 

Furthermore, a morning headache is another sign one must not overlook. If you always feel a headache in the morning, you’re battling with SA. Other symptoms of SA include; difficulty paying attention while awake and irritability. 

What is polysomnogram?

We mention polysomnograms in our introduction. Polysomnogram is a sleep study to detect if one is battling sleep apnea. Furthermore, a polysomnogram is several component tests electronically sending and recording activities during sleep. A professional sleep specialist will analyze the outcome from the recordings to detect if one has SA or another form of sleep disorder. 

You might be wondering if there are other sleep disorders apart from SA. There are countless of them. So, if a polysomnogram is carried out on you and it shows sleep apnea, you may need another sleep test to know the treatment option. Let’s move forward.

What are the things to expect during a sleep test?

Before the sleep study or sleep test, your doctor may prescribe some medications to you. Your doctor might tell you to stop those medications before the test. To have a perfect test, you’ll be given instructions to stay away from alcohol and caffeine on the day. If you take alcohol on the test day, the outcome might not be actual or accurate.

Also, you’re expected to come in comfortable pajamas. Also, it is advisable to go for the test with a book or a magazine and a unique pillow. You might be wondering if you need to come to the test room with a book. It is expedient for you to go with something that’ll help you to sleep. 

Tips on how to test and diagnose sleep apnea

On the night of the sleep test, if one is in a sleep center lab, one will be assigned to a private bedroom in the hospital. A central monitoring area will be in one corner of the bedroom. That is where the sleep specialist monitors the sleeping clients. You’ll be given a cool and a private bedroom. Please note that they’ll fix some equipment that may look uncomfortable on you. You need to bear with them. And if your case is less complicated, they might recommend a portable device for home testing. So, you’ll be on a test while staying at home. Remember, this is for those that have a less complicated issue. 

Other equipment used for a sleep study

Don’t be scared; surface electrodes will be put on your face. The surface electrodes will send recorded signals to the measuring equipment. It is essential to know that those signals generated by your brain activity are recorded digitally. There’ll be a belt around your chest to measure your breathing. Also, an oximeter bandage will be placed on one’s finger to measure the oxygen in one’s blood. 

Other tests for sleep apnea

An electroencephalogram is another test for sleep apnea. It is used to measure and record brain wave activity. Also, an electromyogram records muscle activity like leg movements and teeth grinding. 

Have you heard about electrooculogram? Electrooculogram is used to record eye movements. Studying eye movement is very important. It is used to determine the REM stage sleep. 

A nasal airflow sensor is also one of the tests for sleep apnea. It is used to record the airflow. And the snore activity can also be measured using a snore microscope. 

What happens after the sleep study? 

After the sleep study, the sleep specialist removes the sensors attached to your skin. You can go back to your daily activities. So, you need to give your doctor or sleep specialist some time to study the data from the study. 


Dear reader, we hope you’ve seen something engaging and educative. We explained in detail the tips for testing and diagnosing sleep apnea. Finally, if you have a question regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to drop it in the comment box. We will answer your question.