Sleep Myths, Busted

The Truth About Sleep Apnea

We know that thinking about a sleep study or wearing a CPAP mask can seem scary. One of the best ways to relieve your fear of something is through education, so our accredited doctors, Dr. Balachandran and Dr. Artar, debunked some common sleep myths to make these processes more familiar and less stressful.

MYTH: If I am placed on CPAP, I will have to wear a CPAP mask for the rest of my life.

BUSTED! You may require CPAP for the rest of your life however, if you lose weight, or are able to treat other factors affecting breathing during sleep, that may change! Even if not, long-term studies have shown that when sleep apnea is treated, people live longer and healthier lives.

MYTH: Wearing a CPAP mask will ruin my s@x life.

BUSTED! Your s@x life may improve! You will have more energy, your libido will increase, and men, your risk of erectile dysfunction will diminish.

MYTH: If I am diagnosed with sleep apnea, I will lose my job, which requires a CDL.

BUSTED! You will not lose your job, you will simply need to follow some compliance guidelines to ensure safety on the road.

MYTH: If I participate in sleep study, it is certain that I will be put on CPAP.

BUSTED! Though CPAP is the most common and effective way to treat sleep apnea, it isn’t right for every sleep disorder. Also, those with mild apnea have other treatment options besides CPAP.

MYTH: If I snore at night, I must have sleep apnea.

BUSTED! Most people who snore don’t have sleep apnea but most people who have sleep apnea snore. If your snoring is chronic and waking your bed partner, you may want to see a specialist to be sure.

MYTH: You can only have sleep apnea if you’re overweight.

BUSTED! It is true that the risk of having sleep apnea increases with an increase in weight however, people with a large tongue, large tonsils and adenoids, small chin, and who are older can also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea even without being overweight.

MYTH: If you don’t have sleep apnea at one point in your life, you will never develop it.

BUSTED! You can develop obstructive sleep apnea as you get older or if you experience weight gain.

MYTH: It will be very difficult to fall asleep in a sleep clinic while wearing wires.

BUSTED! This is a common fear among people who undergo sleep studies but usually, enough sleep is obtained to see whether or not there is sleep apnea and sleep aids, like melatonin, can help and have a minimal effect on breathing.

MYTH: If my doctor recommends a sleep study, it means I have sleep apnea.

BUSTED! If your doctor recommends a sleep study, it means you may have a sleep disorder that wouldn’t be properly diagnosed and treated without a sleep study. There are other sleep disorders that can explain symptoms.

MYTH: CPAP is the only way to treat sleep apnea.

BUSTED! Though CPAP is known to be the most common and most effective treatment for sleep apnea, it is not the only treatment. For mild apnea, weight loss or dental appliances may be effective. Also, some people seek non-surgical or surgical procedures. For more information about other treatment for sleep apnea, ask your provider!

MYTH: Most insurances will not cover a sleep study.

BUSTED! Most insurances, in fact, do cover sleep studies! Some insurance plans may have rules or guidelines regarding sleep studies. For more information, call the number on the back of your insurance card!

MYTH: Sleep apnea is not that dangerous.

BUSTED! Moderate or severe sleep apnea can not only increase your risk for other significant health issues like heart disease and stroke, it can contribute to lack of safety while driving.

MYTH: Only old people get sleep apnea.

BUSTED! Though your risk for sleep apnea increases with age and weight, Up to 10% of children have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

MYTH: You have to participate in a sleep study in a sleep lab to get treated for sleep apnea.

BUSTED! Home sleep apnea testing can be used for those with high probability.

MYTH: I will never be able to wear a CPAP mask if I am claustrophobic.

BUSTED! There are 3 main types of CPAP masks; nasal pillows, nasal mask, and a full face mask. If you are prone to claustrophobia, the nasal pillows could be most appropriate for you.

MYTH: Instead of going through a sleep study, if I think I have sleep apnea I can just purchase and start wearing a CPAP mask.

BUSTED! All PAP machines and masks require a face to face evaluation with a provider and an up to date prescription from a physician for purchase. If you want to schedule an appointment with a sleep provider, call us at 414-336-3000.

MYTH: CPAP is unaffordable and not worth the cost.

BUSTED! CPAP supplies are covered by insurance and some don’t even need replacing for 6 months. Getting a good night sleep and maintaining proper health makes it worth any cost!

MYTH: Sleep apnea is the only disorder detected by a sleep study.

BUSTED! Many different channels are measured during a sleep study allowing our technologists to detect multiple sleep disorders.

MYTH: If I have sleep apnea, it will help to drink alcohol before bed to make sleeping easier.

BUSTED! Though you may fall asleep easily after consuming alcohol, it may actually cause you to wake up several time during the night!

MYTH: It will be difficult to fit a sleep study into my schedule.

BUSTED! A sleep study is performed during your normal sleep time. Most people feel they need to take off of work the next day but our sleep labs are equipped with private bathrooms so you can get ready for work in our facility.