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Can a Sleep Diary Be Used for Sleep Apnea Diagnosis?

November 25, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — cosleepap @ 7:47 pm
Woman sitting in bed, writing in notebook

Have you been extra tired lately? If you feel worn out despite your best efforts to get an adequate amount of sleep, you may have a medical condition that requires attention. For example, it is possible that you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. How can you find out for sure what the problem is? A sleep diary can be an important first step on the path to figuring out why you are struggling to feel well-rested.

What Is a Sleep Diary?

A sleep diary is a simple record that contains information about the quality of your rest. It might contain notes about:

  • When you go to bed and when you wake up.
  • Whether you took any naps during the day.
  • Factors that might be affecting the quality of your sleep, such as physical activity, your caffeine and alcohol consumption, and more.
  • How many times you wake up each night.
  • Information from your devices. For example, you might have a smart watch that keeps track of your activity during sleep.
  • Notes about your partner’s observations. For example, they might tell you that you snore or stop breathing sometimes.

A sleep diary may be kept over the course of two weeks or so. Your care provider can give you specific tips on how to track your sleep.

Can a Sleep Diary Lead to a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis?

A sleep diary can give both you and your doctor valuable information about the quality of your sleep. It can help you recognize patterns and make necessary lifestyle adjustments that could improve the quality of your sleep. It can also provide clues that may lead your doctor to suspect that you have sleep apnea, a condition that causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night.

However, the sleep diary by itself does not provide enough information to lead to an official sleep apnea diagnosis. For that, you should undergo a sleep test, whether it is in a lab or using a device that you borrow from a sleep doctor or sleep dentist. The test can monitor your breathing and other vital statistics to reveal whether or not you have a sleep disorder.

After you receive an official diagnosis, you can begin to consider your treatment options. You may soon be on your way to higher-quality sleep!

A sleep diary can be a useful tool. Ask your care team if it might help you figure out how to get the rejuvenating rest you deserve.

Meet the Practice

Drs. Thompson and Radz of Downtown Denver Sleep Solutions are knowledgeable sleep dentists who are proud to help members of our community enjoy the benefits of high-quality rest via oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. Our practice also provides convenient at-home sleep testing. To find out how we may be able to serve you, contact us at 303-377-5337.

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