Do you find yourself waking up gasping for air in the middle of the night? Are you constantly tired and fatigued during the day? Do you wake yourself up with the sound of your own snoring? These are all signs that you might have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a problem that over 100 million people suffer from. If you think that you might be suffering from sleep apnea or you want to know more about a test for sleep apnea at home, keep reading!
Early Diagnosis Is Crucial
Sleep apnea has some pretty scary side effects if gone undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. That is why getting diagnosed early is crucial! If left untreated for too long, it can bring health complications such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, stroke, and heart attack.
It is important to note that while some people may be aware that they have sleep apnea, it is vital you consult with a medical professional either way. Doing so is the only way to guarantee you’re getting the proper treatment.
Things You Can Do At Home
There are certain steps you can take at home to see if you have sleep apnea. Once you are sure that something isn’t right with the way you breathe at night, then you can easily make an appointment with your doctor for further consultation.
Record Yourself Sleeping
The first thing you can do if you sense that something is not right is record yourself sleeping. There are many ways in which you can do this. The first is by using a video camera.
While a video camera is a good tool to see exactly what kind of sleep positions may be causing your sleep apnea, its battery life usually doesn’t last through the entire night.
Another great tool you can use to record yourself sleeping is your phone!
There are plenty of applications out there that can record audio of you sleeping. Not only this, but it will also record any time you move or wake up. Using an app on your phone is a great way to see how many hours of sleep you are getting a night.
If it is below the average amount of time or you seem to be waking up frequently, you may have sleep apnea.
Take A Quiz
There are plenty of quizzes available online that can give you more insight into whether or not you may have sleep apnea. Most of the quizzes are similar in nature, as they will run through some of the ways you may be feeling.
Some examples of questions include:
- Do you feel like you are unable to concentrate on small tasks throughout the day?
Do you feel lethargic at work?
- Do you have a headache from the moment you wake up in the morning?
They are great because they go in-depth on what the common symptoms of sleep apnea are so you can identify if you have any.
At-Home Sleep Tests
Once you have done these things and have a reasonable belief that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you can then ask your doctor to prescribe an at-home sleep test. An at-home sleep test is a great way for your doctor to see if you have sleep apnea or not and how severe it is.
It works through a small device attached to your finger. This device measures your breathing patterns. It takes a detailed record of how many times a night you stop breathing. With this number, your doctor can determine whether you have sleep apnea or not.
It is convenient because you get to do it in the comfort of your own home as opposed to a test where the patient has to sleep overnight in a lab. Not only that, but it only lasts for one night. Your doctor will then send this data to a specialist who will not only look into whether you have sleep apnea, but any other sleeping issues you might have as well.
Depending on how severe your symptoms are, your doctor may recommend other tests.
Tips To Ease Sleep Apnea
There are plenty of ways you can try to ease your sleep apnea yourself. There are different kinds of nasal sprays and nasal strips sold over the counter which can help open airways while you sleep.
You can also add a humidifier with some eucalyptus essential oils to the space that you sleep in. Not only will it make the room and the rest of your home smell pleasant, but it will also soothe the throat and open your airways.
A good pillow that can support the head and the neck properly may also ensure that you get a good night’s rest. Sleeping on your side has been proven to help with sleep apnea, but without a good pillow, it is useless.
There are also body wedges out there that ensure you don’t roll over onto your back as you sleep. Make sure that your head is supported properly, as you don’t want your jaw to slack and feel uncomfortable.
Last but not least, you want to make sure that the room you are sleeping in is at a cooler temperature at night. It has been scientifically proven that a cooler room ensures a better night’s rest. Too much heat and you’ll be sweating and tossing and turning.
When it comes to sleep apnea, time is of the essence. Recognizing the symptoms, recording yourself sleeping, taking a quiz or two, and getting properly diagnosed by a doctor will ensure that you get the treatment that is right for you.
Sleep apnea, unfortunately, isn’t always properly diagnosed, and a lot of people out there don’t even realize they have it. These unfortunate people are a ticking time bomb when it comes to developing much more serious health issues.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you are armed with a little more knowledge on what step you should take next.