The Benefits of Home Sleep Testing

The only board-certified sleep physician living in Southeast Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik provides high-quality sleep medicine care to patients out of his own sleep medicine practice in Anchorage. Dedicated to treating and diagnosing sleep apnea and snoring quickly, Dr. John Krehlik works closely with all health providers throughout the state to evaluate snoring symptoms through the use of home sleep testing.

Home sleep testing allows for several benefits while still providing accurate information to physicians trying to diagnose snoring and sleepiness symptoms. One benefit is comfort. Patients undergoing normal sleep testing must often sleep in a new place, and sleeping in a new bed while they are being observed makes it difficult for some patients to feel comfortable. Home sleep testing allows patients to sleep in the privacy of their own home, ensuring they do not miss out on a good night’s sleep. It also does not require patients to be hooked up to as many sensors, requiring only a small device wrapped around the chest or a sensor on the finger or nose.

Since the tests can be completed at home, patients do not have to drive far or miss work. The devices are often delivered to a patient’s doorstep and offer 24/7 technical support lines should any problems arise. Patients then simply mail back the device and wait to hear the results from their physician. Home sleep testing also decreases cost by allowing patients to save gas and avoid co-payment at the doctor’s office. Many insurance companies also pay for home sleep testing in full, whereas in-lab testing is not always covered entirely.

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Study Finds Link between Sleep Apnea and Lower Exercise Capacity

One of the most trusted physicians in Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik functions out of his own sleep medicine practice in Anchorage, where he specializes in treating snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. John Krehlik provides a wide range of services, including sleep therapy, physical exams, and CPAP therapy and is committed to helping patients understand how undiagnosed sleep apnea may affect their daily lives.

A recent study led by the University of California, San Diego, found that individuals who suffer from sleep apnea may lack the capability to burn high levels of oxygen during aerobic exercise. The disorder has already been linked to a higher risk of stroke, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart disease, and many researchers believe that VO2 max, or peak VO2, a measure of exercise capacity, is an early marker of increased stroke and heart attack risk. VO2, which is measured during cardiopulmonary exercise testing, refers to the maximum oxygen burned by an individual during strenuous exercise.

The study found that individuals with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea had up to 14 percent lower levels of peak oxygen uptake while exercising when compared to individuals without the disorder. Seen among patients with similar body mass indices, this effect indicated that obesity is not necessarily linked to the lower levels of oxygen uptake. Based on these results, researchers believe that sleep apnea is also linked to an impaired exercise capacity; however, further research is still needed.

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What Causes Snoring?

A graduate of the University of Chicago, where he received his doctor of medicine, Dr. John Krehlik was the first board-certified sleep physician in Juneau, Alaska. With 30 years of experience in sleep medicine, he pioneered home testing for sleep apnea in the state. In addition to his work with sleep apnea, Dr. John Krehlik is an expert in other sleep disturbances like snoring.

A common problem affecting almost 100 million adults nationwide, snoring can occur for a number of reasons and with varying frequency. The most common snoring causes are excess body weight, which squeezes the inner diameter of the throat, and aging, which loosens the throat muscles. Genetic reasons, such as a softer palate or a long uvula, can also cause snoring.

Aside from physical issues, sleeping position can increase snoring issues. When you sleep on your back, gravity can pull at the soft tissue of your mouth and throat, impacting your airflow. By sleeping on your side, the gravity shifts and becomes less of an issue for both chronic and infrequent snorers.

With strong correlation, more than half of all loud snorers have obstructive sleep apnea. Before treating snoring problems, consult your doctor.

Home sleep testing is done in the comfort of your own home. Dr. Krehlik works closely with doctors and other healthcare providers to conveniently evaluate snoring symptoms throughout Alaska. For more information, go to

An Introduction to Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dr. John Krehlik stands out as the only board-certified sleep physician in southeast Alaska and the first internal medicine physician statewide to secure this certification. Dr. John Krehlik has owned and practiced at a private sleep medicine practice in Juneau since 2002 and maintains affiliated sleep clinics across the state.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of apnea, stems from a blockage of the upper airway while the patient sleeps. Depending on whether this blockage is complete or partial, the patient may have difficulty breathing or cease breathing altogether. Either of these manifestations causes the lower respiratory system to overcompensate and overwork to draw air into the lungs. When this happens, the patient often awakes abruptly with a loud gasp or snort as breathing resumes. The patient typically resumes sleeping almost immediately, but since the process tends to repeat itself, the patient tends to experience excessive daytime sleepiness or irritability.

A condition that affects more than 12 million people in the United States today, sleep apnea tends to occur more often in men than women and becomes more common as a patient ages. More than half of sleep apnea patients are overweight, though congenital issues, such as an excess of tissue at the back of the throat, may also serve as contributing factors. Patients with thicker necks or narrower airways are also more likely to develop the condition.

Dr. Krehlik works closely with all health providers across the entire state of Alaska to diagnose and treat snoring and apnea. A simple device makes it easy to be tested for sleep apnea in the comfort of your own home. Please visit for more information.

Benefits of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – CPAP

The only board-certified sleep medicine specialist in southeast Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik has been treating patients for disorders such as sleep apnea since 1984. Dr. John Krehlik advocates the use of home sleep testing to help evaluate the quality of sleep. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is recognized as one of the most effective therapies for sleep apnea. This involves the patient wearing a mask to ensure open airways.

Below are a few of the benefits of CPAP.

Reduced snoring – Since the CPAP helps to keep airways open during sleep, this will help to cut down – or eliminate altogether – the sound of snoring. This will lead to a quieter and better night of sleep for all parties.

Alertness during waking hours – As sleep apnea causes fatigue and sleepiness during the day, one of the direct effects of CPAP is better sleep at night, which in turn allows for heightened alertness during the day.

Regulated breathing – With CPAP regulating breathing, the elimination of sudden disruptions in breathing should yield a continuous and more enjoyable night of sleep. Better sleep will also help reduce the adverse effects of aging, hypertension, and diabetes.

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Home Sleep Testing

A physician experienced in sleep medicine, Dr. John Krehlik has served the residents of Alaska for more than 30 years. In addition to providing a range of services at his sleep medicine clinics in the state, Dr. John Krehlik offers home sleep testing as an option for diagnosing conditions such as sleep apnea.

A relatively common disorder, sleep apnea can often go undiagnosed for a long time. For many individuals, home sleep testing is a convenient and affordable way to find out if they are among those living with sleep apnea.

During a home sleep test, a person remains attached to a monitoring device that measures factors such as airflow, breathing effort, blood oxygen levels, head and neck movement, and snoring sounds. Individuals best suited for home tests are those between 18 and 65 years of age who have a high risk for sleep apnea, and no other major health issues or sleep disorders. Currently, home sleep testing is covered by many insurance plans, including Premera and Aetna.

Some Disorders Treated by Sleep Medicine

Dr. John Krehlik earned his medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Board-certified in both internal medicine and sleep medicine, Dr. John Krehlik operates sleep medicine clinics throughout Alaska and can be reached by calling 907-743-8987 or visiting

Although scientists and medical professionals had known for a long time that sleep is a biological necessity, that was the limit of their knowledge. Conditions such as insomnia were well-known, but were invariably treated with medication without much effort given to determining a cause. Today, insomnia can be addressed through behavior and sleep-habit modification treatments.

Another recognized sleep-related malady is narcolepsy, a disorder first identified in 1880. The main symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. In 1960, researchers found that narcoleptics fall into REM sleep very early in their sleep cycles. Much more recent research has found that people with narcolepsy do not produce enough of two identified hypothalamic peptides.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), another sleep disorder, is also treated by sleep medicine specialists because it manifests itself primarily while people are sleeping, or trying to sleep, and interferes with their ability to sleep properly. First identified in Swedish research more than half a century ago, it was initially considered to be relatively rare. Today, however, research indicates that it may be one of the most common sleep disorders. People with RLS experience significant pain in their legs while sitting or lying down, a strong urge to move their legs for relief, and involuntary jerking of the legs while sleeping. Current research suggests that RLS may be related to an iron deficiency.