Low energy? Often feel worn out? You could be suffering from dangerous sleep apnea and not even know it.
How to read your symptoms, find affordable at-home sleep tests, and finally fix your sleep.
by Geetinder Goyal, MD
Founder & CEO of First Primary Care
Whenever I meet with a new patient, one of the first questions I ask them is: “How are you sleeping?”
Patients are usually surprised by my interest in their sleep, but the simple fact is: if they’re not sleeping right, it’s hard to get your health on the right track.
Before we prescribe more pills to control your blood pressure, before we ship you off to another specialist, before we try more expensive procedures…. Let’s focus on sleep.
If you’re someone who struggles with getting good quality sleep often, you could be dealing with a more severe, undiagnosed issue like sleep apnea.
Signs Of Sleep Apnea
Because we question our First Primary Care members about sleep so much, we discover a lot of undiagnosed sleep apnea.
These are usually the symptoms that patients bring up:
1. Waking up often to go pee
Sometimes, a patient comes in and says, “Look, I sleep, wake up multiple times to pee, and I still wake up feeling tired in the morning.”
Surprisingly, how often you get up to pee at night is an important indicator of an underlying condition. Because if you’re waking up too often to pee, I can tell that there may be sleep apnea preventing you from staying in deep sleep.
2. Snoring and difficulty breathing
Often, it’s the patient’s partner who tells me about their excessive snoring or how they sometimes stop breathing. This is another major indicator.
3. Excessive sleepiness during the day
If you’re somebody who always feels the need to take a nap during the day, it may be that you have undiagnosed sleep apnea that is keeping you from feeling well-rested.
“Sleep quality is not only vital to feeling well rested, but it can impact all other aspects of your health.“
Geetinder Goyal, MD
Founder & CEO
Detecting Sleep Apnea (Affordably)
Taking the necessary steps in detecting sleep apnea will often get pushed under the rug when patients are hit with the price tag.
Traditionally, a sleep study can cost anywhere from between $500-3,000. But detecting a serious condition like Sleep Apnea doesn’t have to be expensive (and it shouldn’t be!).
At our clinic, we actually offer at-home sleep apnea testing for our patients. This is an affordable and convenient alternative to sleep studies. Check out our membership options here.
Priced at just $150, these at-home tests allow our patients to record their sleep so that we can help monitor the quality and get to the root of the issue.
The Most Important Next Step
The most important step in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea (or any issue), is finding a primary care doctor who is invested in getting you healthier.
But I know—finding a primary care doctor in this system who has the time to focus on your sleep hygiene is rare.
But it shouldn’t be, so we made it easy. Just take a look at our membership options starting around $3 a day and let’s get you signed up. That’s less than having to grab Starbucks or energy drinks to get you through the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t have insurance, aren’t CPAP machines expensive to buy?
A high-quality, auto-set CPAP machine, with all the accessories, sells for approximately $600-800 (cash pay). However, many people end up paying more than that in co-pays and deductibles when using insurance to buy CPAP equipment. Additionally, the insurance layer often adds on inconvenience and frustration. CPAP is something you may be sleeping with every night, so I I believe it’s worth the investment, as it may completely change the way you sleep (in a good way).
What if all I need is a new CPAP machine, can I get a prescription for one?
Yes, our doctors can provide you with the prescription that allows you to purchase the machine. They will also guide you on which CPAP machine and mask would be the right one for you to buy. We always help our members shop for best-priced, high-quality CPAP equipment.
What’s the difference between getting tested at a sleep center versus with First Primary Care?
First Primary Care primarily screens for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (95% of the prevalent apnea) with a home sleep study, which costs $150. There are certain situations where a full in sleep lab study is required (like in patients with heart failure or history of strokes). But in general, a home sleep study is very good at screening for sleep-related breathing disorders, and it’s a lot cheaper and more convenient.
Can you help me adjust the settings on my current CPAP machine?
We typically suggest that members use an auto-set CPAP machine, which does not require manual adjustment and can adjust automatically. The old machines, which are not auto-set, may require a sleep study for the adjustment of settings.
Geetinder Goyal, MD
Founder & CEO
First Primary Care