Frequently Asked Questions

How to Arrange for a Consultation?

Family Doctor/Referring Physician

Visit your family doctor and discuss your sleep patterns. Ask your doctor for a referral to one of our sleep offices. A doctor referral form can be found and downloaded under the “Our Services” page.

What is a Sleep Study?

Sleep studies are tests that measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is.

Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can raise the risk for:

In addition to other medical conditions.

Sleep disorders are known to increase the risk of personal injury. Such as falling with the elderly and car accidents.

People are usually not aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. Family members may or may not tell you about breathing patterns and movements during sleep. People usually never think to talk to their doctors about issues that might be related to sleep problems.

What to Expect During a Sleep Study?

Sleep studies are painless. The polysomnogram (PSG), and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), are done at a sleep centre.  The sleep study room may look like a hotel room. A technician makes the room comfortable for you and monitors your sleep.

Are Your Sleep Labs Accredited?

Yes. Our Kelowna, NorthWest BC Region, NorthEast BC Region, West Kootenay Region, East Kootenay Region and the Cariboo Region sleep labs are accredited polysomnography facilities. The accreditation designation is from the Board of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea ((AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. The breathing pauses result in not enough air reaching your lungs. Typically (after the breathing pause), normal breathing starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you will often move out of deep sleep into light sleep. The movement from deep sleep into light sleep results in sleep quality being poor, which causes fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airway collapses or is blocked during sleep. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Your snoring will be noticeable and may wake you other others in your house.

What are Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making the type of sleep apnea more difficult to determine.

The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
  • Attention problems
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Irritability
  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Morning headache

However, it is important to note that you might not have any or many of the above symptoms but instead present with cardiac or neurological problems such as:

What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy experience periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time.  These “sleep attacks” usually last a few seconds to several minutes.

Narcolepsy can greatly affect daily activities.  People may unwillingly fall asleep while at work or at school, when having a conversation, playing a game, eating a meal, or, most dangerously, when driving or operating other types of machinery.  In addition to daytime sleepiness, other major symptoms may include cataplexy (a sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone while awake that makes a person go limp or unable to move), vivid dream-like images or hallucinations, as well as total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking-up.

What is CPAP?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open. CPAP typically is used by people who have breathing problems, such as sleep apnea.

CPAP treatment involves a CPAP machine, which has three main parts:

  • A mask or other device that fits over your nose or your nose and mouth. Straps keep the mask in place while you’re wearing it.
  • A tube that connects the mask to the machine’s motor
  • A motor that blows air into the tube

Some CPAP machines have other features such as heated humidifiers. CPAP machines are small, lightweight and fairly quiet. The noise that they make is soft and rhythmic.

Is CPAP Covered by the Medical Services Plan?

CPAP or any PAP (positive airway pressure) device is not covered through the BC Medical Service Plan. However, the BC Ministry of Health do provide some subsidies for low income families. Some private health insurance carriers may cover some of the costs. You would have to consult with your private carrier to determine eligible costs.

Where Do I get a CPAP Machine?

CPAP devices can be obtained through any local Home Care Company.

If you have any questions about which CPAP machine is right for you, please feel free to visit RateCPAP.com to learn more!

Is Your Clinic Affiliated with Any CPAP Company?

Tranq Sleep Care does not provide, nor is involved in, recommending any specific brand of, or selling of, CPAP machines. We are not affiliated with any specific Home Care Company. It is entirely your choice which company and brand to use based on your requirements. Our job is to provide you with an objective and unbiased diagnosis and treatment recommendation based on the current clinical guidelines in British Columbia and practice guidelines published by American Academy of Sleep Medicine which is the governing body and the authority in the field of Sleep Medicine.

Are These Visits Covered by BC Medical Services Plan?

All the visits to our sleep physicians for consultation are covered by BC Medical Services Plan. Other Provincial Medical Services Plans also cover the costs for out of province patients. The cost of your overnight sleep study is also covered by BC Medical Services Plan.

Video Explanations

What is Sleep Apnea?

This video explains how obstructive apneas occur and why they are so disruptive to our sleep.  It also discusses the physical side effects caused by interrupted and unrestful sleep.

How Sleep Apnea affects your body

This video explains what obstructive sleep apnea is and lists the negative health effects caused by the condition.  It also explains how PAP therapy treats sleep disordered breathing and can improve your body functioning and your overall quality of life.

Your Night at the Sleep Laboratory

This video explains, in detail, how a polysomnography, or overnight sleep study, is conducted.  It shows the procedure and placement of all the sensors and electrodes needed to collect information about your sleep and gives you a good idea of what to expect when you come to sleep lab.  Lastly, it explains some treatment options including Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP.

Alice NightOne Home Testing

This short video gives step by step instructions for using the Respironics Alice NightOne testing unit.  This modern home sleep testing device is designed to be easy to use and intuitive.