Rest Easy – Diagnosing Common Sleep Disorders

May is Better Sleep Month, but did you know that a third of U.S. adults don’t get enough sleep? Even one bad night can hurt our concentration and mood. Constantly missing sleep has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and other chronic conditions. Some people choose to miss sleep as work and family obligations pile up. But for those with sleep apnea and other conditions, rest-free nights are not a choice.

What exactly is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder where an individual repeatedly stops and starts breathing during sleep. It is marked by loud snoring, abrupt awakenings and periodic gasping for air. Morning headaches and excessive daytime tiredness often follow restless nights. People with sleep apnea are also at an increased risk for stroke, hypertension, heart ailments and cognitive problems.

Sleep disorders can be frightening, but there are many effective treatments. The key is to get diagnosed. Once you know whether you have sleep apnea or some other condition, your doctor can point you to the proper treatment.

Do you think you have sleep apnea? Here’s what to do.

Talk to your doctor about completing an in-home sleep study, which can be ordered by providers specializing in sleep conditions. An in-home study is a convenient and cost-effective way to discover whether or not you have a sleep disorder. No need to spend the night in an unfamiliar lab hooked up to dozens of machines. Use the simple monitor at home to track your breathing and oxygen levels overnight. The results will help your doctor diagnose your condition. In-home sleep studies cannot be purchased over-the-counter, so talk with your doctor to get a prescription.

Are in-home sleep studies covered by insurance?

All of our fully-funded plans cover in-home sleep studies. There are only four exceptions: when members are younger than 18; are significantly obese; have a chronic disease such as CHF, COPD or chronic renal failure; or are unable to technically complete a home study. If you have any questions, call the number on the back of your ID card.

Are in-home sleep studies always effective?

Like all medical tests, in-home sleep studies are sometimes inconclusive. If you think the results of your in-home study are wrong, talk with your sleep clinic provider about completing an overnight sleep test in a lab. These lab tests are monitored by medical professionals and provide more in-depth measurements.

More information about sleep, from A to ZZZs

  • Read more about the importance of sleep in this blog article.
  • Want to sleep better? Find tips here.
  • How much sleep do you need? See this helpful chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information, check out this month’s episode of our Allied and Well podcast. We bust common sleep myths with Dr. Charles R. Davies, an expert in sleep health at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
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