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Posts for: September, 2015

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. 

By Pacific Sleep Program
September 10, 2015
Category: Sleep Apnea
Tags: CPAP Machines  
CPAPLearn more about CPAP equipment to ease your sleep apnea symptoms.
Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 18 million Americans, which can cause not only serious daytime exhaustion but also generalized and chronic health problems. If you are not yet being being treated by a sleep specialist at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland for sleep apnea, then you’ll want to know about the common misconceptions surrounding your condition and this treatment.
1. All CPAP machines and mask interfaces are created equal
THE FACTS: For those who’ve just recently been diagnosed, your sleep apnea treatment will begin the minute you get your CPAP equipment. However, not all CPAP machines are the same, and it’s important to find the right machine for your comfort and needs. The more comfortable you feel with your therapy, the more effective it will be. Ask your physician at Pacific Sleep Program about the different kinds of CPAP machines and mask interfaces available.
The analogy we often use is that getting a CPAP machine is like getting glasses. For glasses to work, you need the right prescription and the right frames. Similarly, for CPAP, a person needs the right pressure setting prescription and the right mask interface. If you are struggling with CPAP, it may be that either the pressure or the mask is not right for you. We are happy to work with you at our Portland and Astoria office locations to get the combination that is right for you. 
2. You don’t have to use your CPAP machine every night
THE FACTS: If you want to get the most from your CPAP machine we encourage you to use it every day. This is also the best way to get used to your sleep apnea therapy. Since there is a transition when first getting used to your new therapy, most patients do not use it all night in the beginning. This is normal - we encourage you to put it on every night and wear it as long as you feel comfortable, but not to the point of any frustration. In the beginning, this may only be a few hours but you should expect to be able to increase that nightly over time. If you are having problems with tolerating the CPAP on most nights, this may be a pressure setting prescription problem or a mask fitting problem. We encourage you to contact us so we can help you troubleshoot and get your treatment back on the right track. 
3. If I lose weight I won’t have to use CPAP anymore
THE FACTS : While losing weight can certainly help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms and get you on the road to a better night’s sleep, this doesn’t mean you should stop using your CPAP machine every night. Continue to use your therapy during your weight loss, and once you’ve reached optimal weight, ask your sleep specialist to reevaluate the severity of your condition to adjust your therapy accordingly. For many people, weight reduction may result in lower pressure settings, milder sleep apnea (which may result in different treatment options) or elimination of sleep apnea altogether. 
Have more questions about your CPAP therapy? The board certified sleep medicine physicians at Pacific Sleep Program is always here to answer any of your questions or address your concerns. We are one of the largest sleep medicine clinics in Oregon, with locations in both Portland and Astoria. Call us anytime!