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Sleeping Disorder

About Sleeping Disorders

Sleep is a beneficial and essential process in order to function properly on a daily basis. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 40 million people in the United States suffer from sleep disorders each year and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems. Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including: difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive sleep time, or abnormal sleep behaviors. In most cases, sleep disorders can be easily managed once they are properly diagnosed. There are many different sleep disorders. However, one of the most frequently occurring is due to disturbed sleep also know as sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common forms of abnormal sleep breathing. It is a common disorder in which you have pauses in breathing while you sleep. An estimated 18 million people in the United States are affected by this condition and it can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Sleep apnea is usually a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleeping patterns. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause a variety of complications, such as: high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated.


One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Another common sign is choking or gasping for air during sleep. Other symptoms may include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Memory or learning problems, not being able to concentrate
  • Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
  • Urination at night
  • A dry throat when you wake up

Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing or have experienced these symptoms.

Who's At Risk

Below are some of the risk factors for sleep apnea that may prompt you or your doctor to request a home sleep study:

  • Overweight
  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Narrowed airway or increased neck circumference
  • Older Age

Risk Associated with Undiagnosed Sleep Apena

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can aggravate high blood pressure and diabetes. If left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly increase your risk for:

  • Cardiovascular events such as angina, heart attacks and heart failure
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Most people with apnea remain undiagnosed because apnea happens while sleeping. A physician can order a sleep test to confirm a suspected case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

How We Can Help

Sleep health is a vital component of your overall wellbeing. The physicians and staff at Torrance Memorial Physician Network provide our patients with the opportunity to understand and treat their ailing sleep problems, such as Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea Testing from the Comfort of Your Own Home

If you or your physician suspect symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep apnea, we can perform overnight sleep study evaluations in the comfort of your own home and arrange for treatment if sleep apnea is discovered. This test can replace the need for sleeping in a sleep lab for most patients.

The system can be used for up to three nights to collect sleep data, including:

  • Respiratory events (apneas and hypopneas)
  • Snoring intensity
  • Blood oxygen saturation
  • Pulse rate
  • Respiratory effort

Benefits of home Sleep Apnea testing:

  • Convenience-can test in the comfort of your own home
  • Accurate-uses 3 nights of information to eliminate errors from poor night sleep
  • Cost effective-eliminates need for technician to monitor test overnight

What to Expect

Home sleep studies for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are a convenient alternative to having the tests performed in a sleep lab setting.

With home sleep testing, the device is sent directly to the patient's location. The test is self-administered, which allows for greater privacy and comfort than typically found in a sleep lab. Home sleep tests are a clinically accurate and cost-effective way to diagnose a potentially life-saving treatment.

The NovaSom Diagnostic System, is a full-service home testing system cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for diagnostic evaluation of adults with possible OSA.

The device fits on a bedside table and is used for three nights to collect sleep data including respiratory events, snoring intensity, blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate and respiratory effort.

How to Schedule a Test

Sleep Apnea testing must be referred by your primary care physician.