Many people don’t know they have a sleep problem. In fact, they think the constant feeling of fatigue is a normal part of aging. Maybe you think it’s all the stress at work. Symptoms like heart disease and diabetes might not even seem connected at all. At some point, many patients need a sleep test. With technology always on the move, why not get tested in the comfort of your own home? This is a common question driving patients to seek out alternatives and compare their options.
It’s convenient, but is home sleep testing the right choice? It used to be that patients would have to go into a lab where doctors could set up their machinery. It also changed many of the things that help us sleep. Patients would be in different environments. Specialists have always encouraged patients to bring things that help them sleep. Any changes in the sleep environment can have surprisingly large effects.
During sleep, the body works to repair itself. Your muscles rejuvenate, and the body restores its energy levels. Sleep is essential for proper growth and development. Ongoing sleep issues can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. In the short-term, patients are more prone to reduced productivity at work, drowsy driving, and more.
If you have trouble getting to sleep or wake up throughout the night, it’s obvious you could be running into sleep problems. What some don’t realize is you can also suffer from low-quality sleep. Some patients sleep eight hours or more and still wake up fatigued. No matter the cause of your sleep issues or how they present, early treatment is essential. Sometimes, being honest with yourself means knowing when to make certain lifestyle changes. Even when you think it could be partly related to your diet, schedule, etc., sleep testing can still help.
Experts believe as many as 50 to 70 million adults in the US alone could be suffering from a sleep disorder. Many go undiagnosed because they don’t recognize the signs.
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Why Is Home Sleep Testing the Right Choice for You?
With so many people going undiagnosed, some would say everybody should be tested. What are the benefits, and why is it so important?
Protecting Your Health Is Important Enough for a Sleep Study
Home sleep studies are convenient and often affordable. Some insurance companies will even cover the costs. You might think a little fatigue or even losing a few hours of sleep each night doesn’t matter. When you leave the problem untreated, it could be silently hurting you. Some effects are longer lasting than others. A lack of proper sleep stresses the body increasing your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Because you’re more fatigued, you’re also at risk of accidents with drowsy driving. If your work involves driving or other heavy machinery, it can be even more dangerous.
Sleep deprivation can also cause depression, irritability, and anxiety. Some patients also run into mood swings, decreased sex drive, and poor work performance. If it’s left alone for any lengthy period, sleep issues could even shorten your lifespan.
Your Sleep Disorder Can Hurt Your Partner’s Health
It’s not just harmful to the patient with the sleep disorder. All the tossing and turning can also disrupt your partner’s sleep. Patients with sleep apnea also snore and make other noises during the night when they stop and start breathing again. Conditions like restless leg syndrome can cause involuntary movements. Bruxism is another common condition that causes patients to clench their jaw during sleep. The grinding noise, much like snoring, can be disruptive to any partner’s sleep cycle.
A Sleep Study Can Save Your Life at a Reasonable Cost
More insurance companies are willing to offer coverage for home sleep tests. By eliminating many of the things that can lead to extra issues with your sleep schedule, you can get accurate results. Some believe truckers and others in similar fields should be tested for sleep apnea regularly. Unfortunately, even a little fatigue can have a big impact in these types of careers.
If caught early, diagnosing a sleep condition could save your life. Both in the short and long-term, improper sleep can get in the way of your body’s most basic functions. This can cause health issues leading to an earlier death even if you don’t get into a car or other more immediate accident. Once you start treatment, you might notice immediate benefits like a lack of fatigue. With healthy lifestyle choices, reduced blood pressure and weight loss are just a couple of the benefits you might notice.
Sleep Testing Professionals Can Explore Alternatives
Each patient has unique needs when considering their sleep testing needs. Sometimes, you can find a sleep lab right near your home. If you have distractions at home, you might sleep better in a lab. Often, testing at home gives specialists a better idea of the challenges you face. Sometimes, adjusting your diet or turning off your computer at night could improve your sleep on its own. Patients are asked to bring in parts of their sleep routine. It’s impossible for specialists to recreate every part of your home environment. Home tests allow specialists and technicians to see the full picture.
Some patients don’t have time to schedule a home or lab test ahead of time. Truckers often spend weeks on the road. So spending a night at home with wires attached can be discouraging. Devices like sleep apnea watches can be used to track certain vitals on the road. So whether you’re sleeping in your truck or a hotel room, you can still be tested and diagnosed. Then doctors can help you find the right treatment.
If you have sleep apnea, you’ll need to be fit with a CPAP machine and the right mask. Then specialists can calibrate the machine to deliver the right amount of oxygen throughout the night. Once you start treatment, you’ll notice the benefits immediately in many cases. Partners see improved sleep quality with no snoring or other abrupt sounds. All this can be simple with home sleep testing or sleep testing devices for those on the road.