Sleep studies are an important tool for diagnosing sleep apnea. In the past, all testing for sleep apnea needed to take place at a sleep medicine center, but today, many patients are able to conduct this test in their own home.
There are several benefits to home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) versus staying overnight in the lab:
Privacy and Comfort: Being in a familiar environment and following your typical bedtime routine may provide the most accurate picture of your sleeping patterns.
Convenience: Scheduling an overnight sleep study at the lab can be difficult if you have to arrange child care or if you live far away from a sleep center. HSATs only require you to arrange a time to pick up and return the testing equipment.
Cost: Whether you are paying out of pocket or using health insurance, HSATs are generally less expensive than those performed in the lab. Most insurance companies cover home testing for sleep apnea, however it’s best to check your policy first.
HSATs are simple to set up and perform.
Pick up the Diagnostic Equipment: At your appointment, we will give you a portable device that collects data about your sleep. Then one of our registered sleep technologists will provide a 30-minute tutorial on how to use it and answer any questions you have about the process.
Test for Sleep Apnea at Home: When you are ready to go to bed, you’ll hook up the device as instructed. It will monitor your breathing, the level of oxygen in your blood and your heart rate for one to two nights.
Return the Equipment: When you wake up in the morning, unhook the device and drop it off at the sleep center.
Get the Results: Our team will analyze the information collected from your HSAT. Then one of our board-certified sleep medicine physicians will schedule a consultation with you to discuss the results and develop a treatment plan. If the results are inconclusive or indicate you do not have sleep apnea, your physician may request additional sleep studies.
Home sleep tests are recommended for patients who may have sleep apnea, but do no have any other serious underlying health problems. If you have other conditions — such as cardiorespiratory disease; history of stroke; severe insomnia; awake hypoventilation or suspected sleep-related hypoventilation; respiratory muscle weakness due to neuromuscular condition; or chronic opioid medication use — an onsite sleep study at a sleep medicine center is probably the best choice for you.
Your doctor will discuss your sleep study options with you and let you know if a home sleep study is one of your testing choices.
If you would like to be evaluated for a sleep concern, call to schedule an appointment with one of our locations. Note that some insurance policies require a doctor referral for our services. Check with your insurance before your appointment to verify your coverage.