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While I should be happy that apnea awareness continues to grow, I am dissatisfied with some of the irresponsible marketing some companies will lead you to believe will benefit your sleep health. So unless you plan on boxing 12 rounds in your sleep leave the mouth guard in your gym bag and put your CPAP mask back on. I have a friend that had a sleep study conducted and it revealed that he had a severe case of sleep apnea. My friend, we will call him “Mark” for the sake of the story, had a follow up appointment scheduled with his sleep physician and he was going to cancel.
Bottom line is don’t trade in your CPAP mask for some gimmick with good advertising otherwise your sleeping with something in your mouth that may be doing absolutely nothing. You may have a credit score above 700 but that doesn’t mean that a debt collector is not calling to you every day in the form of daytime sleepiness, fatigue and irritability.
People that suffer from sleep apnea are often unable to reach the more restful deep stages of sleep that are vital to recharge our batteries for the next day.
Many people are unaware of how many occurrences (sleep apnea events) occur during their night’s sleep. Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices that are needed to maintain normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. My old sleep doctor would tell patients that the bedroom is used for 2 things and watching television isn’t one of them.
You owe it to yourself to follow some of the helpful sleep hygiene tips we have provided you in this article. Alcohol is a depressant that relaxes the muscles making the airway more susceptible to collapse and produce snoring as well as apnea events. Progression to sleep disordered breathing events such as apneas (cessation of airflow from a blocked airway), hypopneas, upper airway resistance syndrome, sleep fragmentation, and respiratory related arousals, prevent you from entering a deeper stage of sleep. The health risks associated with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are well documented through research and can be deadly with links to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, stroke, diabetes.В  Sufferers may also experience depression, excessive daytime fatigue, moodiness, irritability and sexual dysfunction. If you snore or wake up gasping for air during the night or experience some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea you should speak with your physician about testing options. For those of us with mild or situational cases there are less invasive options such as weight loss through healthy diet and exercise or eliminating smoking or alcohol. Home sleep apnea testing market continues to grow as more and more insurance companies decline reimbursement for in-lab diagnostic polysomnograms. I was recently contacted by a sleep physician that made it a point to tell me he refers many customers to our site for CPAP supplies but will not be doing so in the future because of the wording we use to describe our home sleep testing program. Before I get into a rant about home sleep testing, I do want to point out something to the average customer looking to purchase a home sleep test.
I have been a sleep medicine professional for 12+ years and participated in many meetings where the primary emphasis was how we were going to thwart the efforts of home sleep testing programs because they posed a threat to our bottom line. Yes, certain some patients NEED the in-labs study for the best possible diagnosis and treatment, especially those with co-morbid conditions but if they cannot afford the in-lab route, a home sleep test SHOULD be offered.
In the lab I worked for we took great pride in our titration abilities and any sleep technologist worth their salt knows the goal is eliminate disordered breathing events through supine REM (the position and stage of sleep a person is prone to be most severe). The sleep doctor would get them back in for a follow up consult and reduce their pressure to lower level that the patient could tolerate and reschedule a follow up appointment to gradually raise them back up.
Every 2 minutes.  Or maybe worse, I have seen apnea hypopnea indexes as high as 120 times per hour. During REM sleep (rapid eye movement) our neural connections convert short term memory into long term memory. Lack of a good night’s sleep is enough to make us all a little irritable but just image what is must feel like to not get a good night’s sleep for 20 or 30 years.
It’s not hard to understand that with little sleep or the feeling of fogginess one might have a difficult time being creative or even having the energy to do one’s job. It’s quite simple really; without healthy sleep it is hard to get the motivation to exercise or be more active. Improved mood, a more rested heart, lower blood pressure and decreased risk of stroke and heart attack are really good bullet points to live by when you make the effort for better sleep. If you or someone you know suffers from the symptoms listed in this article, you should consider consulting with a physician about conducting a home sleep apnea test. We are seeing an amazing increase in self pay home sleep apnea testing from people that work in the transportation industry and it’s not surprising as to why.
In 2005В NHTSA estimated the cost to be $83,000 per fatality, a total of 12.5 billion and 85% of the cost from workplace loss and loss of productivity. Insert Shameless Plug Here: Get Tested and Treated with Our Home Sleep Apnea Test and Auto CPAP Package. Many people notice weight loss as a result of using a CPAP machine and they tend to feel better with marked improvement in quality of life. False.В  Refer to CPAP myth #7 for more clarification but snoring is usually the first sign of developing hypopnea (partial airway closure) upper airway restriction, and sleep apnea. Every so often sleep apnea pops up on the radar of mainstream journalism and reporting, unfortunately in most cases it’s to report the passing of someone that is famous or in the public eye. Hypopnea-partial airway closure, not as much as an obstructive apnea but still results in disruption to sleep and oxygen desaturation. Complex Sleep Apnea (CompSA)– a combination of central sleep apnea events triggered by the use of CPAP therapy (CPAP induced central sleep apnea).
At home sleep apnea test kits allow you sleep in your own bed and monitor the major physiological parameters that may determine if you suffer from sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing. The only 100% proven effective treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP or Auto CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a device that provides pressurized air through tubing into a mask that you wear on your face while you sleep (CPAP mask). There has been an on-going debate in the field of sleep medicine about Auto CPAP machines being used to establish CPAP pressures versus a patient coming back in to the sleep lab for a CPAP titration. Before we jump head first into this, let me give you a little back ground about my experience as a board registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT sleep tech) in the clinical setting. Great question and in some cases individuals with complex  and co-morbid conditions clinical and regimented consultations are absolutely warranted but in the majority of “run of the mill” obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, consultations and sleep tests can be condensed, saving the patient hundreds to thousands of dollars. Initial consultation visit with sleep specialist to discuss sleep apnea or sleep disorders.
If sleep study revealed pathological breathing disorder, patient returns for in-lab CPAP titration to establish pressure and therapy device setting. In-lab diagnostic sleep study split night (polysomnography PLUS CPAP titration all in one night).

Other professionals in the sleep community will look at this blog and deem it inaccurate or inappropriate; those people will most likely be the ones that benefit from you running the full spectrum of diagnosis and analysis at their sleep center. Since they can’t come out and say that their product will treat or help your sleep apnea, they do that in a roundabout way by saying “get rid of your CPAP” by using their product.
You may say “Hey Jason, aren’t you a little biased when it comes to this” and I would say “yes, I don’t want to see any apnea sufferer that needs CPAP be scammed out of money for a product that will not be effective and is potentially harmful”.
Our bodies require a certain amount of rest each and every night and when we only make the minimum payment on our sleep bills start to pile up. Apnea’s literal meaning is “without breath” and it is a closure in the airway that doesn’t allow air to the lungs. Medical professionals measure the severity of a person’s sleep apnea based on how many times per hour these events happen. Many people confuse this with insomnia but what they do not realize is happening is that as soon as they drift into stage 1 of sleep their airway is closing off and waking them right back up. As nice and relaxing as it sounds, it disturbs your normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness. These are stimulants that…While we all know that drinking alcohol can lead to “passing out”  it disrupts your sleep later in the night because the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing fragmented and disrupted sleep.
Your mind should associate your bed with sleep and it’s not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV or listen to the radio.
However, you could be practicing perfect sleep hygiene and completely be unaware of underlying conditions such as sleep apnea, snoring, and any other sleep disordered breathing that is affecting your sleep. It goes without saying that it is common knowledge that some spouses sleep in different rooms and the wedge that drives them apart often times is the loud snoring.
Needless to say, snoring can be an indicator or warning sign of a more serious sleep disorder breathing (SDB) event. At home sleep apnea tests, a small device worn in your own home while you sleep, can be great tools to assess the presence of sleep disordered breathing or the need for a more comprehensive in-lab polysomnograph monitored by a qualified sleep technologist. In some cases of positional snoring an alternative therapy  of a bumper belt or tee-shirt that has tennis balls sewn in to the back so that it discourages you from sleeping supine (on your back). This is not recent news and it doesn’t take much more than common sense to know that the average person that thinks they may have sleep apnea or  been told they have sleep apnea is looking for the most cost effective way of diagnosing and treating it. As a registered polysomnographic technologist I have always been torn between two constant arguments I have seen in sleep medicine. You can consult a patient to have an in-lab sleep study and a titration but that doesn’t mean they are going to show up for the appointment. We hit that mark like Bruce Willis drilling to 800feet in Armageddon and left the sleep lab every morning feeling like we had defeated sleep apnea one patient at a time. Unfortunatley a common scenerio is when they left that morning with their CPAP machine  and tried to sleep with it that nigh they found they could not tolerate it. Sleep techs sometimes just do not understand the fine line between clinically treated and compliant because they are too focused on accomplishing the mission at hand.
The average heart rate while we are awake is 60-100 beats per minute and when we sleep, the average drops down to 40-900 BPM. That is exactly what has happened to a lot of people that have suffered a long time with undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Let’s not even mention the morning headaches or lethargy that also comes with fragmented sleep and untreated sleep apnea. The hot topic of conversation in the industry has been a law to mandate sleep apnea testing, CPAP therapy if the test was positive, and compliance reporting for truckers that have elevated risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep questionnaires, assessments of risks factors such as obesity, age, neck size, hypertension, and diabetes are great tools in recognizing potential drivers that would benefit from screening. There have been studies conducted on health care utilization that have shown tremendous reduction in medical claims and hospital stays after diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea as compared to prior year before. Given the increased morbidity of not treating sleep disorders, it should be considered preventative medicine to offer diagnostic testing and treatment. Every so often we like to identify misconceptions made about CPAP therapy, costs of CPAP equipment and the general understanding about obstructive sleep apnea. People that suffer from sleep apnea and ARE NOT using CPAP therapy will typically “mouth breath” from your body’s natural self defense mechanism to survive.
While it has been shown that being overweight can significantly contribute to your sleep apnea it does not mean that weight loss will correct your sleep apnea. Extreme snoring typically results in the same sleep disturbances (arousals and awakenings).
Justin passed away tragically in his sleep at the age of 33 as a result of complication related to sleep apnea (thus the reason we are discussing this on a CPAP blog) and we want to shine a light on snoring and sleep apnea, in particular the deadly consequences and health risks it poses.
Take NFL great Reggie White or the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia who both passed away as a result of complications directly related to sleep apnea. False, I have friends that are in peak physical condition, mid 30’s and maintain a proper diet and lifestyle, yet I cannot be in the same room with them when we go on golf trip because of the severity of their snoring and witnessed apnea. We offer the testing kit service for the low price of $349.00 (compare that to the thousands a sleep lab may charge you or your insurance).
I spent 8 years working for a free standing sleep center that had locations in Ohio and Florida.
It’s sad to say but the patient’s healthcare coverage is evaluated just as much as the patient so the amount of visits and sleep studies may depend on how much or how little coverage you have as a patient.   Listed below are some of the examples we have seen in patient flow for sleep studies once they have entered the sleep lab system.
Yes, sleep studies can be performed in your own home, your own bed and without the need of 22 leads and sensors.
The majority of the people in the sleep medicine field will look at this and understand the importance of clinical pathway options and cost analysis for their patients. Here in lies the problem; if you are on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) that means you have a major likelihood that it is being used to treat sleep apnea. After Mark’s follow up appointment the doctor has convinced him to undergo another sleep study, this time using his “mouth guard” to see if apnea was still present. A person that suffers from mild sleep apnea measures between 5 to 15 events per hour, moderate is 15 to 30 and a severe case is anyone that has over 30 events per hour.
Positional and sleep stage related snoring is most commonly heard while you are on your back and may or may not be in REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep.
Not only is this disruptive to your sleep stages but also the sleep stages of the person lying next to you. To rule out sleep apnea or any other respiratory sleep related disorder it is best recommended to speak with your physician about undergoing a sleep test. The first is the accuracy and reliability of a home sleep apnea test versus an in-lab diagnostic test and the second being the fixed pressure CPAP machines versus auto adjusting CPAP machines.

Each episode (apnea event) results in a drop in your oxygen level as well as disruption to your brain wave activity.В  That brings you from a deeper stage of sleep to a lighter, lest restful stage of sleep. During normal healthy sleep the heart rate sustains a somewhat steady and level rate and rhythm. Decreases in the hormone Leptin from lack of healthy sleep contributes to increased appetite.
There are so many different physiological attributes that cause sleep apnea that just basing it off of your weight is not wise. If you feel that you have lost enough weight and there are no other physiological connections to your sleep apnea, it is best to have a re-evaluation sleep study done (preferably using our home sleep testing program) to determine whether or not you still need CPAP therapy.
Auto CPAP also saves you time and money by limiting the number of times you would need to visit the sleep center or physician for pressure adjustments.
Sleep apnea is a silent but deadly killer that deprives all sufferers of quality of life and overall health.
Sleep apnea does not discriminate based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, political belief, tax bracket or any other factor. I doubt IВ would be able toВ get my family to tune in toВ one episode of me scoring a sleep study or talking CPAP shop with my fellow co-workers (yawn, that was boring just typing it). They too, like many adults refuse to believe that their snoring and sleep apnea could be a potential deadly disease (see the above referenced people if you cannot believe). Our test kits are scored by a registered polysomnographic technologist and reviewed by a board certified sleep physician.
I was the director of clinical operations responsible for a total of 48 beds in 6 different sleep centers with multiple board certified sleep physicians, so my experiences with in-lab titrations is quite extensive.
However this applies to candidates that have obvious suspected sleep disordered breathing without co-morbid conditions. In certain positions and stages of sleep, patients are more prone to apneaic events and thus need more pressure versus others.В  In many cases, this eliminates the need for an in-lab diagnostic sleep study. These sleep specialists are typically the ones that work well with us when it comes to providing therapy devices and supplies to their patients. Sleep physicians or those that practice dental sleep medicine should be consulted first if you feel you may be a qualified candidate.
A mild case of sleep apnea would be a person that has apneas that occur 5 to 15 times per hour on average, a moderate case would be 15 to 30 times per hour and a severe case is an average of 30 or more per hour.
Before his overnight stay at the clinic I made a little side bet with Mark that the results would reveal that he still had severe apnea present. This brings us out of a deeper sleep stage to a shallow, wake like stage for a brief moment to make sure our airway opens and we get the oxygen we need to survive. Age and weigh gain top the reasons for people that never snored in the past but have recently started snoring.
When we sleep on our back gravity shows us that our airway is most susceptible to collapse. Most sleep studies are covered by insurance as well and if you do not have insurance or have a high deductible plan you can still undergo a home sleep apnea evaluation for very little cost. A person with obstructive sleep apnea typically will have a chaotic heart rate or arrhythmias during apnea events. It’s amazing to see the effect on some people in the sleep clinic the morning after their first full night with CPAP. Occupational wellness programs are reacting to these correlations and a standard of practice is beginning to develop in the trucking industry in regard to screening and treatment of truck drivers for sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing.
I have a friend that is the picture of physical fitness and health and I can tell you that he has such severe apnea that no matter what peak condition he is in, it will always be there.
I will list the below information to help you identify the who, what, when, where and why of sleep apnea. Simple, just say your product treats snoring and imply it treats apnea by telling someone to get rid of their CPAP machine.В  Brilliant, but that kind of advertising is irresponsible and the equivalent to telling someone to put a band-aid on a gun shot wound. The most common issues related to insufficient sleep that causes daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and loss of concentration among other things are listed below.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), oral appliances and surgery are the treatment methods recommended for sleep apnea suffers.
Add in REM sleep, a stage best described as an active mind in a paralyzed body, and you have a full loss of muscle tone to create sleep disordered and loud snoring. If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, upper airway resistance, or a sleep breathing disorder a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) may be prescribed.
Know the warning signs and symptoms are key to determining if you should be tested for sleep apnea.
He opted instead to go through a slew of oral appliances (currently more than 80 on the market) until he found one he liked. I must say that I do feel a little guilty about this since I have read case studies and know that oral appliances are only about 20% effective in treatment of sleep apnea sufferers like him. You can find out if you have sleep apnea by undergoing an in-lab sleep study or an at home sleep study. CPAP is the only 100% proven effective treatment for sleep apnea however there are surgical procedures or oral appliances that have been shown to be successful in certain qualified candidates.
Auto scoring does not recognize artifact as well as a certified sleep technologist can and thus if not properly detected could lead to false negatives or false positives.
Richard Berry has some wonderful insight on this subject; I encourage you to check out his research for The Use of Auto Titrating Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for Treatment of Adult Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Most commonly it can be attributed to sleep disorders and poor sleep hygiene, the two points of focus in this article to help you get a better night’s sleep. Always find out how long a practice has been doing home sleep testing; a dentist that just added them to their practice last week may not be the best option for you.
The movie Hall Pass has a scene in which one the stars is sleeping with a ResMed S8 series CPAP machine and Full face CPAP mask. They will most likely want you to stay at the sleep lab again for a “CPAP Re-Evaluation”, which is another term for repeat CPAP titration.
However, with Auto CPAP, remember that algorithm, it’s still there and only delivers the CPAP pressure that you need without that need to go back to the sleep lab for another study.

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