Can a Sleep Diary Help Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

October 7, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsolutionstopeka @ 4:23 pm
young woman writing in sleep diary

After getting a full night’s sleep, you wake up feeling like you didn’t get any rest at all. If this happens to you regularly, you may be unsure of what’s going on. Your best course of action would be to consult with a sleep specialist for help diagnosing the problem. But before they can confirm anything, they’ll need to study your sleep patterns and habits – and that’s where a sleep diary can help. If you’re interested in learning more, continue reading to find out what it is and how it can be the first step towards a sleep apnea diagnosis.

What Is a Sleep Diary?

A sleep diary is a tool that helps your doctor learn how much and how well you sleep. It’s a record of your sleep patterns and habits, which are extremely helpful in determining the quality of your rest. With this information, your specialist can determine whether you have a sleep disorder or if a sleep study should be prescribed.

Over 1-2 weeks, you’ll sleep with a diary next to your bed. Every night you’ll record information such as:

  • The time you went to bed
  • How long it takes you to fall asleep
  • Number of times you woke up throughout the night (and how long you stayed awake each time)
  • How refreshing overall sleep was
  • Number of naps taken during the day (and length of each one)
  • Number of alcohol or caffeinated drinks you had
  • Which medications you take throughout the day
  • Time spent exercising

Can Keeping a Sleep Diary Help Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

Yes! A sleep diary can make the difference between a proper diagnosis and a misdiagnosis. By recording your sleep patterns and habits for a few weeks, you’ll be giving your sleep specialist detailed insight into your nightly troubles. It’s a vital tool that helps them figure out whether you have sleep apnea or some other disorder, like insomnia. With a better picture of your habits, your doctor can discuss the best course of action moving forward.

Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Diary

Are you having trouble getting a good night’s rest? Here’s how keeping a sleep diary can benefit you and help you solve your problems.

  • It will give you a better idea of your sleep patterns and habits. It can even reveal a few things you didn’t expect about your sleeping patterns!
  • You’ll start to quickly realize the importance sleep can have on your life, helping you be more diligent about promoting sleep rather than deterring from it.
  • It can help your doctor give you a proper diagnosis.
  • If your doctor recommended sleep apnea treatment, you can monitor its effectiveness with a sleep diary.

As you can see, there are many benefits to keeping a sleep diary. So, if you’re having trouble getting a full night of rest, try keeping one for a few weeks. It can help expedite the process towards proper diagnosis and treatment!

About the Author

When it comes to treating sleep apnea, Dr. Michael E. Michel has decades of experience under his belt. After earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, he pursued advanced training and continuing education in dental sleep medicine for several years. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Michel and his team are happy to help you get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Visit our website or call our office to schedule a consultation.

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