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Posts for category: Sleep Testing

By Pacific Sleep Program
September 15, 2015
Category: Sleep Testing

Find out how sleep testing can help us diagnose a myriad of sleep issues.

Are you having issues with sleep? You aren’t alone. Millions of Americans don’t get enough sleep each night. However, it’s important to pinpoint what could be the cause of your symptoms so you know how to treat it. 

We know that many patients in Astoria, Seaside, Warrenton and other Oregon Coast communities have had sleep testing in the past or require sleep testing to help to diagnose or optimize treatment for multiple different sleep disorders including sleep apnea as well as to optimize their CPAP pressures and ensure that the mask is not leaking. 

What is a polysomnography?

A polysomnography is a formal term for sleep testing. This testing helps your sleep specialist make an accurate diagnosis and create a customized treatment plan to help you get a better night’s rest.

How does a polysomnography work?

Through the use of sensors, which are applied directly to the skin on various locations throughout the body, we monitor a variety of physiological features as you sleep. Some of these features include respiration, heart rate, oxygen levels and patterns of movement. Certain changes to these physiological traits could give us an idea of what could be causing your sleep issues.

How is an overnight sleep testing conducted?

The testing is performed by our sleep technologists. Once you are checked in and settled into your room, one of our sleep technologists will apply the sensors. The sensors are connected to a small connector that will allow you to disconnect if needed to use the restroom or walk around. 

Once the sensors are placed you are free to do whatever you wish in your room. We recommend that you go to bed at your normal bedtime unless otherwise directed by the sleep medicine physician. In the morning, a sleep technologist will come in and remove your sensors (this takes about 20 minutes).

How many nights will I need to stay?

Most time, we are able to make a decision regarding your diagnosis and treatment by the first night. Additional nights may be necessary depending on the type and severity of the sleep apnea. 

What should I bring with me to the sleep test?

Pajamas, slippers, and toiletries are some of the more typical items a patient will bring along with them. While some patients may choose to wear nightgowns, pajamas are often easier for applying sensors and for movement. While pillows will be provided, feel free to bring your own if that will make you feel more comfortable during testing. Please bring any reading materials you would like. Electronics such as cell phones and laptops are allowed for use during the evening but must be put away during testing. 

Want to get a better night’s rest? Well, who doesn’t? Call Pacific Sleep Program, located in Astoria across from Columbia Memorial Hospital, today and let us give you sweet dreams from here on out. We serve all of the communities along the Oregon Coast from Tillamook up to Cannon Beach, Seaside, Warrenton and up to Long Beach Washington and beyond. For patients located closer to Longview and Scappoose, please visit our location in Portland on the Westside, near Beaverton and Hillsboro. 

Maintenance Wakefulness TestsWhile everybody loves a good nap, there are times when it is essential that you stay awake. One of these times is while you are driving. Nod off at the wheel, and not only do you put your life in danger, but you also endanger the life of those around you.

Wouldn't it be great if you could know ahead of time how likely you are to fall asleep behind the wheel? Now, at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland, you can. Our sleep medicine technologists can put you through a Maintenance Wakefulness Test to see exactly how you would perform.

What is a Maintenance Wakefulness Test?

A Maintenance Wakefulness Test is an objective ability test that drivers take to determine their likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel. The test, which is performed during a person's normal waking period, simulates the experience of driving alone at night on a straight road. Throughout the test, data is collected, and this data is used to provide an objective measurement of the person's ability to stay awake.

When are Maintenance Wakefulness Tests Necessary?

Visiting a sleep medicine technologist at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland is a routine requirement for those working within the commercial driving industry, especially those who are at an elevated risk for falling asleep due to certain illnesses or medical conditions. Passing this test demonstrates the driver's ability to stay awake and perform the duties of his or her job.

What Benefits do Maintenance Wakefulness Tests Offer?

While there is no way of predicting with 100 percent certainty whether or not a person will fall asleep behind the wheel, the Maintenance Wakefulness Test does provide objective evidence of the likelihood of such a situation occurring. With the Maintenance Wakefulness Test, employers and insurance companies do not simply have to take the employee's word that he or she is alert enough to drive; they can measure their risk objectively.

If an injury or medical condition has left your ability to stay awake in question, don't take a chance that could put your safety and the safety of those around you in jeopardy. Visit a sleep medicine specialist at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland to find out your risk for sure.

By Pacific Sleep Program
May 26, 2015
Category: Sleep Testing

Sleepiness Assessment A restful night's sleep - isn't it great? You wake feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to tackle the day.

But for people who have narcolepsy, a neurological condition characterized by abnormal bouts of daytime sleepiness, sleeping at night doesn't help with functioning during the day. Individuals with narcolepsy simply zone out or nap unexpectedly - during meal time or at the office.

Persons with narcolepsy may also exhibit cataplexy. This condition is characterized by bouts of extreme weakness in the muscles after a strong emotional reaction. People can be fully awake but unable to use their arms or legs. In addition, narcoleptics often:

  • wake up frequently at night
  • have very vivid and disturbing dreams
  • experience temporary paralysis right before awakening
  • sleep restlessly, moving arms and legs in a jerky manner

Many People Suffer From Narcolepsy and Other Sleep Disorders

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that over 40 million individuals in the United States suffer from sleep disorders, with narcolepsy and sleep apnea the 2 that many people have heard of.

Narcolepsy can lead to other issues, such as depression and mood swings and the inability to perform everyday tasks. However, physicians and other sleep experts, such as those at the Pacific Sleep Program, can get to the root of these problems and help people deal with them.

Sleepiness Assessment at the Pacific Sleep Program in Astoria, Oregon

At the Pacific Sleep Program, Gerald B. Rich MD DABSM, Radhika S. Breaden MD MPH DABMS, Gregory Clark MD PhD DABSM and Brianna Hansen PA-C are trained in the latest diagnostic techniques and treatments for sleep disorders. Often a simple quiz on a person's sleep experiences can determine if testing for narcolepsy or other sleep issues is warranted.

One innovative test they offer is the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, or MSLT. Performed at the Pacific Sleep Program, the test takes an entire day and results are interpreted by the physicians on staff.

Individuals undergoing the MSLT actually sleep in a quiet, darkened room. Using sensors comfortably attached to the patient, the technician collects data regarding how many times the person falls asleep or naps during the day. How deeply the person sleeps and how long it takes to fall asleep are carefully noted during this daytime sleep study.

Treatment of Narcolepsy

While daytime sleepiness cannot be cured, it can be treated and controlled to optimize daily functioning. Sometimes, doctors choose to use antidepressants and common sense therapies such as:

  1. Setting a regular time to go to sleep and to wake up
  2. Exercising each day
  3. Engaging in something relaxing before going to bed (reading, listening to soft music)
  4. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, especially during the evening
  5. Sleeping until at least dawn

Call to learn more about sleepiness assessment.

If you or your physician suspect you have narcolepsy or another sleep disorder, don't prolong your discomfort. Contact Doctors Rich, Breaden and Clark today to discuss your symptoms and your options. In Astoria, call (503) 325-3126 or in Portland, (503) 228-4414.

By Pacific Sleep Program
April 24, 2015
Category: Sleep Testing

Find out what to expect when you come in for an overnight sleep study at Pacific Sleep program.

If you’ve been scheduled for an overnight sleep study in Portland, then you’ll want to know what you should do prior to your appointment. Sleep DisordersHere are some interesting tidbits you might not know that could better prepare you for your upcoming night with us:

We would like to make this night as typical for you and as comfortable as possible. 

1. Take all your medications as usual unless otherwise directed.
Also, be sure to bring any medications that you’ll need to take while overnight at our sleep center. 

2. Drink your usual amount of alcohol before the study -- but do not drink and drive! If you typically drink prior to bedtime in the time frame of 7:30 PM and bedtime, please bring your typical amount of alcohol with you to the sleep study. 

3. Since caffeine and alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep, we recommend that you do not drink or eat anything containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening right before your overnight sleep study.

4. Don’t use hair sprays or gels
If you wash your hair the day of your overnight sleep study you should only wash with shampoo and leave out any gels or sprays that you may use. These products can affect the sensors during your study. 

If you are experiencing problems falling asleep or staying asleep and find yourself dealing with daytime exhaustion. then it’s time to see if the quality of your sleep has something to do with it. Schedule an appointment today with your sleep specialist at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland or Astoria.