Contact Us (757) 600-6535

Current Patients (757) 659-1017

235 Wythe Creek Road Poquoson, VA 23662

What Is Sleep Testing? Hampton Roads, VA

Are you exhausted by the afternoon, even after a full night’s sleep? Do you often wake up with a headache? Do you ever have a difficult time concentrating at work?

Dr. William Harper works with patients to coordinate and schedule sleep testing with your general practitioner. A physician is the only medical professional certified to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and related sleep disorders.

It is important not to make assumptions about your sleep issues. Sleep testing is an integral part of making an accurate diagnosis and choosing the best treatment option for your needs. If you do not have a regular physician and would like to be tested for possible sleep apnea, Dr. Harper can help you.

He will determine your risk, symptoms, and recommend a local physician for a thorough evaluation. After we have evaluated and properly diagnose your issue, we can recommend treatments. Dr. Harper provides a variety of sleep apnea treatments in the Hampton Roads area.

Hampton Roads VA dentist for sleep apnea

Our Doctor can Conduct Sleep testing in two ways:

At-home Sleep Testing

We will order an at-home kit for your convenience. The kit will contain detailed instructions that are important to follow. Dr. Harper will also go over these instructions with you during your consultation. The kit will help determine the severity of your sleep disorder. It will also contain sensors for measuring heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen level and more.

Doctors do not recommend at-home sleep testing for those with certain medical conditions, specific diseases, or anyone who may be at risk for a range of sleep concerns. Dr. Harper and your physician will go over instructions with you and be available for questions.

We are thorough, but with at-home kits you have more control. It is up to you to properly communicate all of your issues with us so that we can properly diagnose and treat the root cause.

In-lab Sleep Testing: Polysomnography

A doctor conducts a Polysomnography in a laboratory setting. Medical professionals will be there to monitor this extensive test. In-lab sleep testing is a comprehensive evaluation of a range of physical metrics. An in-lab study is the standard for patients seeking a diagnosis for a sleep disorder. It can also be helpful for those who are already using a CPAP machine, with minimal symptom relief, or who need to adjust their use of the device.

How to prepare for Sleep Testing

Before sleep testing we recommend sticking to your regular schedule as much as possible. It is important to avoid napping, so that you are able to stay asleep for your testing. It is also important to avoid caffeine and alcohol the day of your test. Hairspray and hair gel may interfere with our sleep testing technology, so we recommend not having any product in your hair, and no makeup.

What happens if I can’t sleep during a sleep study?

If you cannot fall asleep during a sleep study, you may be able to take a sleeping pill such as melatonin or Benadryl. This should help you fall asleep for your study. We will also reschedule your study if sedation options are not for you.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Dr. Harper will work with your physician to obtain results from the sleep study. He will make a determination on how best to treat your sleep disorder. If results are inconclusive after an at-home sleep test, an in-lab test will be recommended. You will obtain a more complete evaluation of your body during sleep with an in-lab sleep study.

If results show mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Harper can work with your physician to provide recommended oral appliance therapy to treat your condition. We always work with you on an individual basis to monitor symptoms, and administer treatments. If a more severe issue is found, we will make appropriate recommendations based on your unique issue and needs.

Sleep Testing FAQs

What should you not do before a sleep apnea test?

Before a sleep apnea test patients should avoid drinking any caffeine or alcohol for at least 24 hours before the test. Caffeine and alcohol can change your sleep pattern, which would change the results of your test.

How long do you need to sleep for a sleep study?

Almost everyone falls asleep during their sleep study. Some patients may have more struggles falling and staying asleep than others. It is rare for a sleep study to require 8 hours of sleep for the doctor to make a diagnosis.

Can I sleep on my side during a sleep study?

You can sleep on your side during a sleep study, however the technician may come wake you up at some point and try to move you to your back. The goal of the sleep study is to study you in your natural sleeping position, so if you naturally fall asleep on your side the technician will want to gather data from you sleeping on your side.

Do they wake you up during a sleep study?

Your technician may wake you up occasionally during your sleep study to change your position. The goal of the study is to gather data while you are sleeping so you will not be woken frequently.

Do you wear pajamas to a sleep study?

We recommend that patients wear conservative two-piece pajamas to a sleep study. The team will need to attach electrodes to your body so it is most comfortable to wear a two piece pajama set.

Can I watch TV during a sleep study?

You are welcome to read or watch TV to help you fall asleep for your sleep study. We want to make the experience as comfortable as possible, so if watching TV will help you fall asleep you are welcome to do so.