Margaret Mike Sleep & Wake Center

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How do I know if I have a sleep disorder?

People with sleep disorders may either have trouble getting to sleep at night, or staying awake during the day. Sleep disorders cause people to not feel refreshed, no matter how much sleep they get.
You should seek medical attention if poor sleep interferes with your daily activities such as: remaining alert during meetings, reading, watching television and, most importantly while driving, or operating equipment.

What are the types of and sympytoms of various sleep disorders?

The most common sleep disorder is obstructive sleep apnea, which affects 5% to 8% of the population. It is a serious medical disorder that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and automobile accidents. The most common symptoms are:

  • Loud disruptive snoring
  • Breathing pauses during the sleep
  • Choking, gasping or short-of-breath awakenings
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects 2% to 5% of the population and often keeps people from falling asleep. It is characterized by a creepy-crawling, tingling or twitching sensation of the legs that is only relieved by movement. People often pace the floors at night, or take hot baths for relief.

Periodic leg movement disorder occurs when the person is asleep and often causes unexplained awakenings and daytime sleepiness. The bed partner may observe a rhythmic twitching or kicking of the feet or legs during sleep. The person with them is generally unaware of them because they occur during sleep.

Narcolepsy affects about 5 in 10,000 people and usually begins in the teens or 20s. It is characterized by irresistible urges to sleep throughout the day and is associated with abnormal REM (dream) sleep.

Chronic insomnia sleep disorder is experienced by up to 17% of the population at some point in their lives. The symptoms include the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or early morning awakenings. There are many potential causes. If the poor sleep causes fatigue and affects your daily functioning, then you should seek evaluation. Insomnia treatment varies depending on the cause of the insomnia.

Parasomnias such as sleepwalking or acting out of dreams (sleep terror disorder) may result in injury or social embarrassment to the person or their bed partner and cause sleep disruption, daytime sleepiness and potentially weight gain from a sleep eating disorder.

If I have some of these symptoms, where do I begin?

Discuss them with your doctor, and then if indicated, your doctor can refer you to our Center for consultation with our sleep medicine specialist and/or for a sleep study (polysomnogram). Most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. You can also contact our Center for an appointment with our sleep specialist and Medical Director, Dr. Mike.

Where is the sleep study performed?

  • After a sleep study has been recommended by a physician, the study is usually performed in one of 9 convenient locations in the DFW Metroplex.
  • Screening sleep tests for obstructive sleep apnea can be done in the home, but to ensure accurate results, it requires more channels and that a technician be present during the study. 

How is sleep tested?

  • The test will monitor quality and depth of sleep
  • Breathing effort
  • Snoring
  • Heart rate
  • Oxygen levels
  • Limb movements
  • Body position

This information will be monitored by a trained technician the entire night.

Will I be able to sleep?

  • The monitoring process will:
  • Allow you to assume your comfortable positions
  • Allow access to restroom facilities

You will also be encouraged to bring your favorite pillow, stuffed animal, magazine or books, and bedtime snacks.
Some patients sleep better because they do not have to worry that their snoring or tossing in bed will disturb their bed partner.
It is very rare that a patient will not obtain enough sleep for the study to be meaningful.

Do I need to take time off from work for the sleep study?

No, it is not necessary to take time off from work.

  • Testing will be scheduled for your normal bedtime
  • You can be awakened upon request
  • There are shower facilities available at many locations
  • Testing can be done on weekends

What if I work an evening or night shift?

Sleep disturbances are very common among shift workers; therefore, your study will be scheduled during your normal sleep period.

What if I have sleep apnea?

A second sleep study will be performed in the lab to ideally determine what CPAP pressure is required to keep your airway open, and prevent breathing pauses (sleep apnea) while you are sleeping on your back and during REM (dream) sleep.

How is that done?

The technician will be reviewing your breathing patterns, oxygen levels and sleep patterns on their computer. They can adjust the pressures remotely, so they don’t have to come into the room to change the pressure.

Is the CPAP covered by insurance?

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, then nasal CPAP therapy is the sleep apnea treatment of choice and is covered by your insurance. There may be a deductible on your insurance for DME (durable medical equipment) benefits.

How do I get the CPAP?

Following your CPAP titration, a pressure will be determined. An order will be sent to a DME (durable medical equipment) company who will verify your insurance benefits, and schedule an appointment to set you up and teach you how to use your CPAP machine.

When do I use the CPAP? And for how long?

You use the CPAP every time you sleep including naps or when you travel. The CPAP is a treatment, not a cure. The best “cure” for obstructive sleep apnea is usually weight loss.

What if I gain weight?

If your weight increases by an average of 20 lb., your CPAP pressure may need to be increased to keep your airway open at night. The sleep apnea may return before snoring does. Do not assume that there isn’t any sleep apnea just because you aren’t snoring with the CPAP on.

What if I lose weight?

If you lose weight, usually 20 lb. or more, your CPAP pressure may be able to be decreased. It will not harm you if the pressure is higher than needed. Some people will experience “air swallowing” and burp the next morning if the pressure is too high,

If there has been substantial weight loss, it may be time to repeat your sleep study and see if you still need the CPAP.

Don’t stop using the CPAP without discussing it with your doctor. You can still have sleep apnea, and drops in your oxygen then can stress your heart without snoring loudly or feeling tired the next day.

 


Almost all insurance plans cover sleep studies (polysomnograms).  Our Center will verify your benefits for you.


 

Call sleep doctor Margaret Mike, MD Sleep & Wake Center at 972–981-7436 and learn how today’s advanced care options could potentially save your life. For your convenience, you can also use our online form to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mike today! Contact us if you reside in Frisco (Denton County), Plano (Collin County), Bedford, Colleyville or Grapevine (Tarrant County) in DFW Metroplex, TX. Physicians employed by Texas Health Physician Group practice independently, and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Resources hospitals.