What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a patients breathing passage seals during sleep, causing the patient to stop breathing. Apnea is Latin for "without breath". The body responds to this lack of oxygen by arousing, or waking from sleep. This cycle leads to the patient being unable to get the needed quantity of restful sleep and results in: 
-Constant Fatigue
-Difficulty Focusing

Untreated Sleep Apnea is potentially fatal and frequently results in the following serious health problems: 
-Heart Attacks
-High Blood Pressure

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Testing

The PSG (Polysomnogram) Procedure:
PSG’s are the most common procedure performed at Sandman. During a PSG we are able to monitor your sleep patterns and signs of sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Periodic Limb Movements.
When you arrive at the center, the technologist will ask you to change into your night clothes and fill out a bedtime questionnaire. He/she will then mark and measure your head to apply the proper placements of the EEG (brain wave) electrodes. Don’t worry, none of the monitoring devices will be painful. The entire hook-up procedure takes approximately 20 minutes.
We will be monitoring the following parameters:
EEG - (Electroencephalograph or brain waves) Electrodes to monitor your stages of sleep.
        EOG - (Electro-oculograph - eye movements) Electrodes to monitor your eye movements.
EMG - (Electro-myograph - muscle activity) Electrodes to monitor limb movement and chin
ECG - (Electro-cardiograph or heart rate) to monitor your heart beat and rhythm.
Respiration - Your nose and mouth will be monitored by a thermocouple, which looks like a small oxygen cannula. Your chest and abdominal respiratory efforts will be
monitored by adhesive sensors which are placed around or on your abdomen and chest.
         Oximetry - A finger probe that will read your oxygen saturation levels throughout the night.
During the Night:
We typically start the sleep study between 9:00 - 11:00pm. You will go to sleep as you normally would at home. You are allowed to sleep in any position during the night. The monitoring devices are all connected to a small “jack box” which is easily disconnected and carried with you as you move about the center. The monitoring devices are very sturdy. If a monitoring device gets pulled off, the technician will fix it.
Even if you are only scheduled for a standard PSG, it may be necessary for us to apply CPAP at some point during the night. In many cases, Standard PSG’s are followed up with a CPAP Titration several days after your study. The paragraphs on the following page describe the process of CPAP titration. You may find it helpful to briefly review that material also.

What is CPAP Therapy

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which holds the airway open so that uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. This eliminates Sleep Apneas and allows the patient to get a restful sleep. A CPAP machine blows one constant pressure. Your ideal pressure was determined during your sleep study. However, many factors can affect your ideal pressure over time, like weight fluctuations and even sleeping positions. 
CPAP therapy is traditionally provided through a nasal mask that seals around the nose. However, more innovative, comfortable and better sealing options are beginning to emerge.