How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea? Why should I treat it?

Ignoring sleep apnea can have serious consequences for your health and overall quality of life. The severity of sleep apnea can vary from person to person, and the right treatment plan depends on understanding the specific needs of the individual. 

There are a few ways that can help you diagnose the severity of Sleep Apnea. Diagnostic tests such as polysomnography (PSG) and home sleep test (HST) can help you figure out the optimum treatment plan. 

Here are some details: 

1. Polysomnography (PSG) 


Polysomnography is often referred to as an "overnight sleep study." It is typically conducted in a sleep center or clinic. During a PSG, you will spend a night hooked up to various sensors and monitors that record data while you sleep. These measurements include:

  •  Brain wave activity (EEG): To monitor sleep stages.
  • Eye movement (EOG): To detect rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
  • Muscle activity: To observe limb movements.
  • Heart rate and rhythm: To identify irregularities.
  • Breathing patterns: To check for sleep apnea events.
  • Blood oxygen levels: To monitor oxygen saturation.

PSG provides comprehensive data and is particularly useful in diagnosing the exact type and severity of sleep apnea. This test allows healthcare professionals to tailor treatment plans to the individual's needs. 

2. Home Sleep Test (HST) 


Home sleep tests are a more convenient and cost-effective alternative to PSG, particularly for individuals with suspected mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. HST devices are portable and easy to use in the comfort of your own home. These tests typically measure: 

  •    Breathing patterns: To detect apnea and hypopnea events.
  •   Heart rate and oxygen saturation: To assess blood oxygen levels.
  •  Snoring and body position: To determine sleeping habits.

  While HST may not provide as much data as PSG, it can offer an initial assessment of sleep apnea and is often the first step in diagnosing the condition. If the results suggest sleep apnea, further evaluation and treatment planning can be pursued. 

Optimum Treatment Plan 


Once the severity and type of OSA is diagnosed, an optimum treatment plan can be tailored to your specific needs. The treatment options range from lifestyle modifications and positional therapy to more advanced interventions, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral appliances, and surgery. 


Addressing sleep apnea can significantly improve your health and quality of life. By seeking diagnosis and appropriate treatment, you'll be taking a vital step towards achieving restorative and refreshing sleep, ensuring you wake up each day with increased energy and the motivation to tackle life's challenges with renewed vitality. Don't let sleep apnea go untreated; consult with a healthcare professional to take control of your sleep and your health.

Know more about Sleep Apnea like: Treatment of Sleep Apnea, and Myths about Sleep Apnea


I want to know about:*

I am over 18 years of age, have read and accepted ResMed’ s Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, am aware that my personal data will be processed for the purposes outlined in these documents.

Thanks for submitting the form.

Sleep Revitalizes your Mind, Body, & Heart

The body goes under many transformations, while it is in the state of rest during sleep. There are many essential functions that take place in the body such as tissue repair, memory and energy restoration, release of essential hormones, muscle relaxation, and others. While you are asleep, the brain releases indispensable hormones that promote tissue growth. This process helps your body rejuvenate from the daily hustle bustle. Moreover, tissue growth aids in the recovery from wounds or cuts. Sunita Kumar, Co-Director, Centre for Sleep Disorders, Loyola University Medical Centre, aptly remarks that during sleep the body produces more white blood cells, to fight countless bacteria and viruses1. The heart rate also registers a dip during sleep, which according to Ms. Kumar, strengthens the heart as it is at rest with lowered activity. Moreover, a good night’s sleep also reduces the chances of getting afflicted with heart diseases.

Good Sleep = Sharp Memory

Sleep is a time, when becomes sharp and strong. Sleep quantity and quality play a fundamental role in determining what one remembers and what one doesnt. Therefore, development of long-term memory (LTM) from short-term memory (STM) happens during sleep.  Scientific researches state that the brain follows a different mechanism for storing memories through the hippocampus and neo-cortex areas. Hippocampus helps you to remember your life experiences (childhood memories), while the neo-cortex is responsible for remembering the concepts you learn (name of a color). Communications and sync between the two, helps in learning new data and updating old ones.

Sleep Steers Hormonal Hunger

Sleep not only affects your energy levels and mental functions, but also regulates your body weight. Improper sleep is related to the increasing cases of obesity, worldwide2. Many hormones which regulate the feeling of hunger (ghrelin) and signal the feeling of being full (leptin), are all influenced by the quality of your sleep.  Leptin: This is also known as satiety hormone, which is produced by the fat cells of the body. It prevents overeating by sending signals to the brain that the body does not require more food, as there is enough to fuel the body.  Ghrelin: This hunger hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which signifies the body that there is need for food. This hormone rises in the body, when you feel hungry and decreases when you have consumed some food.  Studies show that people who have disrupted patterns of sleep - have larger appetite, because of higher ghrelin secretion and lowered secretion of leptin. This imbalance in the secretion of these hormones is a result of improper sleep patterns3.