If you think you or your partner may not be receiving the full benefits of sleep, follow these steps to find out what to do next.
1. Speak to your doctor
If you can identify with some of the common sleep apnea symptoms, or suspect you might have a sleeping disorder, your next step is to speak to your doctor about your concerns.
2. Get a referral
Your doctor may arrange for you to have a sleep test—either in a sleep clinic, hospital or at home.
3. Have a sleep test
During a sleep test, your breathing, body movements and responses during the night are monitored to see if you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Find out more about what happens during a sleep test:
What do sleep tests measure?
If your doctor refers you for a sleep test, they are basically interested in monitoring your breathing, body movements and responses during the night to see if you have a sleep disorder. Sleep tests can take place in a sleep clinic, hospital or in the convenience of your own home.
Can I be reimbursed for the cost of a sleep test?
Medicare covers the cost of a diagnostic sleep test, but there may be a gap payment; it’s best to check with your clinic.
What happens during a clinic sleep test?
In a clinic or hospital, clinical staff will place sensors on your body to monitor your sleep. Sensors are placed:
- on your chest to monitor your heart activity
- close to your eyelids to measure eye movements that help indicate the stage of sleep you are in
- on your head to measure electrical signals from the brain
- on your legs to assess muscle activity.
You’ll also be fitted with:
- a nasal cannula to monitor your breathing
- an oximeter on your finger to record your oxygen levels
- bands around your chest and stomach to measure breathing effort.
With your permission, the clinic may also film you as you sleep to gain more insights into your sleeping behaviour.
You will be required to stay overnight at the clinic or hospital, so you should take everything you need for your usual sleeping routine, including pyjamas and toiletries.
What happens during a home sleep test?
The set-up is similar for both home and clinic tests.
Prior to your sleep test night, a sleep clinician will have shown you how to apply the sensors and monitors, and how to use the recording device during the night
- Follow your normal evening routine and get ready for sleep.
- Attach everything as you have been shown and start the recording.
- In the morning, remove everything as you have been shown.
- Return the recording device to the clinic.
4. Trial your equipment
If treatment with positive airway pressure is appropriate, your healthcare professional will give you a referral for a therapy device and mask. A ResMed accredited outlet can help you choose a therapy device and mask to take home for a trial. Your doctor may also arrange a further sleep test or 'titration study', to determine your required therapy settings before prescribing treatment
5. Purchase your equipment
Once you and your doctor feel sure that you've chosen the right therapy device and mask, you can purchase the equipment. Some private health insurance companies offer a rebate on masks and devices, so check your policy with your health insurance provider.
6. Join sleepvantage™
You don’t need to walk this journey alone. Thousands of people are being treated for sleep apnea, and enjoying major improvements to their overall health. Join them