Role of Sleep Diary in Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Role of Sleep Diary in Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

May 1, 2022

Do you always feel excessively sleepy throughout the day? Do you get enough sleep at night? Or is it a hassle to get some shut-eye, or do you wake up earlier than you intended to? Do you have brain fog or find it challenging to concentrate during the day? If you have answered in the affirmative, then there is a possibility that you are not getting enough quality sleep.

If you always need a cup or two of coffee to jump-start your day, and you constantly feel as though you don’t sleep enough, you may have a sleep disorder. You might have to come to our sleep center near you for a sleep apnea diagnosis.

If this is the case, you will probably need a sleep diary to collect the necessary data to help our sleep doctors ascertain whether you have sleep apnea.

What Is a Sleep Diary?

A sleep diary is nothing complicated! It is a detailed record of your sleep patterns and habits that our sleep doctors can use to determine whether you are eligible for a sleep study.

You will need to use the sleep diary for about two weeks. In those two weeks, you will need to record the following information:

  • The time it takes for you to fall asleep
  • The time you went to bed
  • What time do you leave the bed in the morning
  • Number of times you wake up
  • How refreshing the sleep is
  • Is there anything that disturbs your sleep, such as insomnia, breathing issues, leg movements
  • The number of alcoholic drinks you had the whole day
  • Drugs you took during the day
  • The time you spend exercising
  • The activities you have performed an hour before you sleep

The above is just a sample of the questions you might need to answer; you might get a comprehensive list of questions when you come to our sleep center near you.

Why Do You Need a Sleep Diary?

Here is why a sleep diary is needed in sleep apnea diagnosis: 

You could have trouble sleeping not because you have a sleep disorder but because you have poor sleep habits. You could have bad sleep hygiene and might take too much caffeine and alcohol, so you are not sleeping well.

It Makes You Proactive About Your Sleep

Immediately you start keeping the sleep diary, you start to see the importance of your sleep and its impact on your everyday life. You notice a mental shift, and you will be more diligent in doing things that promote proper sleeping.

It Helps Our Sleep Doctor Give You the Proper Diagnosis

A doctor cangive the wrong diagnosis when they have the incomplete or wrong information. Therefore, you might receive the wrong recommendation to tackle your sleep issue.

However, when the information is available, our sleep doctor will have enough information to find the correct course of action. The information in your sleep diary is the difference between proper diagnosis and misdiagnosis.

You Can Keep an Eye on the Effectiveness of Your Treatment

If you have sleep apnea and our doctor prescribes the treatment you need, you can monitor the results. If you keep a sleep diary, you can tell whether the treatment is working or not.

Types of Sleep Studies Performed by a Doctor

Sleep studies are critical since they are essential for collecting data about what’s happening in your body while you are asleep. Several studies are available based on your symptoms:

  • Polysomnography – Our sleep technician monitors you while staying overnight at our clinic. There are a variety of body functions, such as eye movements, blood oxygen levels, respiratory effort, etc., that will be monitored
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test –This measures how quickly you fall asleep and how quickly you enter REM sleep during your daytime naps
  • CPAP Titration – Our technician determines the amount of air pressure that you need from the CPAP machine to get the best out of the treatment
  • Home Sleep Apnea Testing – Home testing involves collecting data about your heart rate, breathing, and other variables while you are asleep.

Tips to Maintain Sleep Diaries

Every morning, you should always fill your sleep diary, especially one hour after waking. You can set a reminder on your phone to help you remember to record what happened at night. Always keep the record simple. It’s not bad to miss a day but try to be consistent. If there is anything that’s out of the norm, like illness, just add it to the diary.

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