How do I get tested for things like sleep apnea and upper airway resistance?

Those concerned that they may have some sleep disorder should get tested by medical professionals like Dr. Thomas. There are a variety of tests that can be performed to get an accurate diagnosis so and effective treatment plan can be implemented.

What tests to I need?

An important first step of sleep testing at the Intermountain Neurology & Sleep Center is to be interviewed by our specialists. We need to understand the extent of your sleep problems, the exact symptoms you’re feeling, your medical history and the duration of the problem.

With that information, further studies can be conducted, each based on your specific condition.

Testing Breathing: There are various tests that measure your breathing while sleeping. Sometimes this involves sleeping overnight at our center. Polysomnograms measure respiratory effort, among other things. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Titration is important for seeing how much air pressure is needed to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Testing Oxygen Levels: Related to breathing, some sleep tests measure oxygen saturation levels. Blood oxygen levels shouldn’t be below a certain level. These measurements can determine the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.

Testing Brain Activity: An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures brain activity to detect abnormalities. While this test is important for diagnosing many neurologic issues, it can also help diagnose narcolepsy.

Daytime Sleepiness: Some tests are performed during the daytime, to properly diagnose problems like narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness. One test, called the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), measures how fast a person falls asleep.


Indications that you should be tested

But do you really need to be tested? A restful, complete night’s sleep is vital to maintaining good health and the highest level of mental functioning. Here are some things that might indicate you have a sleep disorder.

  • You wake up gasping.
  • You have restless, jerking legs when sleeping.
  • You sweat at night.
  • You wake up frequently at night.
  • You breathing is disturbed when sleeping.
  • Daytime sleepiness.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Decreased productivity and decreased ability to pay attention.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • High blood pressure.

Remember that millions of people suffer from disordered sleep in one degree or another. Getting tested is the first step in resolving your sleep issues and the associated health problems.