22 August 2018

What is a sleep study & other FAQs that Melbourne asks about sleep studies


What is a sleep study?

A sleep study is essentially a recording while you sleep to measure your snoring, your efficiency in breathing, what stage of sleep you are in, your heart rate etc to see if you are sleeping effectively.

How do you do a sleep study?

A sleep study can be done overnight at a hospital, or you can take home a smaller unit and do one in your own home.

A hospital based sleep study will have a nurse connect and monitor you all night in a private or public hospital. Public hospital sleep studies usually have waiting lists that stretch many months, if not a year. Private hospital sleep studies are expensive, even if you have health insurance.

Home-based sleep studies are just as effective as in-hospital sleep studies. The big advantage of in-home sleep studies is that your readings are taken while you are sleeping in your own bed and in your natural night time environment.

When you do an in-home sleep study with us, our friendly team will show you how to connect the sleep study machine. This explanation usually takes no more than 5 minutes and 9 out of 10 our patients who use our in-home sleep study have no problems or hiccups.

Why do I need a sleep study?

If you feel you are not sleeping properly over a long period of time and not sure why, or if you GP/Specialist or Dentist feels there is some abnormal activity happening in your sleep, they may ask you to have a sleep study?

It’s a good idea to get a sleep study if you have one or more of the following:
  1. Consistently poor sleep
  2. Difficulty waking up even after 7-8 hours of sleep
  3. Difficulty falling asleep (more than 10-15 minutes)
  4. Snoring or your partner complains that you snore
  5. Gasping for air when you sleep
  6. Day time sleepiness
  7. High BMI
  8. High Blood Pressure
  9. Clenching or grinding your teeth at night
  10. Large neck size
  11. For males, is your shirt collar 17 inches or larger?
  12. For females, is your shirt collar 15 inches or larger?
  13. Males over 40 usually develop some form of sleep problems
  14. Difficulty breathing on your back when you sleep

Does all snoring lead to sleep apnoea?

All children who snore, should definitely be checked because there is a strong likelihood that they have some form of sleep apnoea.

For adults, snoring doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnoea, but if there are any other symptoms, then it should be investigated and ruled out.

What does a dentist have to do with sleep?

Great question! A lot of the time, there are signs in the mouth which link sleep disordered breathing or sleep apnoea to your oral health.

For example, breaking otherwise healthy teeth, wearing away of teeth, severe teeth grinding, crooked teeth and many more.

Especially if there is a long term treatment being planned, its great to see if there are other factors which can contribute to the outcome of the work (ie: best material for the filling, how long it will last, better outcomes for straightening teeth, etc).

How much does it cost?

At our dental clinic we loan out our own sleep study machine, which is free to you with your consultation.

Remember, the full sleep study includes the sleep study unit + disposable parts + a report + a review consult with the Dentist.

A hospital based study cost will be depend on your private hospital cover and you will generally have to pay your private hospital cover excess because you will be spending a night in hospital.

Sleep studies are available in some public hospitals, but the waiting list for these sleep studies can stretch many months.

What happens if I have sleep apnoea?

There are different severities of sleep apnoea: mild, moderate and severe. All cases affect your life differently and have different treatments.

A treatment plan is customised based on your results, and can include needing to see other practitioners (GP, Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon, Dietitian).

I don’t want to be wearing a mouthguard or a machine for the rest of my life!

We hear you! We don’t want you to either. At Heidelberg Dentist, we aren’t just going to forget about you once you have been given treatment options. We aim to help you reduce your severity of sleep apnoea and improve your sleep. This means follow up appointments, and changes to your treatment plan.

What are the benefits of treating sleep apnoea?

Oh there are so many!
  1. Sleep like a baby (literally) and actually wake up refreshed
  2. A spouse that sleeps better because of reduction of snoring.
  3. More productive during the day and less day time sleepiness
  4. Dental treatment that can last longer
  5. Adding up to 10-15 years to your life (for severe sleep apnoea)
  6. Better quality of life
  7. Breathing better
  8. Better overall health

What if I grind or clench my teeth?

Our sleep study units also measure this and see if your clenching or grinding is related to anxiety/stress or an airway problem. In addition to the sleep study results, you will also have a report on your muscle clenching or grinding habits at night. At Heidelberg Dentist, we can then appropriately treat you accordingly.

What about sleep studies for children?

Sleep studies for children need to be done at a hospital, however our dentists can help detect and refer if they think their may be a problem. Visit our sleep apnoea help page to understand whether you too might suffer from sleep apnoea.

If you prefer to consult our dentists straight away, you can book an appointment using these 2 options
Or you can book an appointment by calling us on (03) 9459 6300 during business hours


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