Home Sleep Testing
For patients without any medical complications, a home sleep test may be an alternative to spending the night in one of our sleep labs. A home sleep test can only be used to diagnose sleep apnea. If you have mild to moderate symptoms of sleep apnea, this test can help your doctor make a diagnosis.
How a home sleep test works
At your doctor’s appointment, your physician will evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for this type of test. You may also need to get prior authorization from your insurance company. You can then get a home sleep test device and instructions on how to hook it up. While you sleep, it will record your breathing effort, airflow, heart rate and oxygen levels. After you’ve done the test, your doctor will download and analyze the data your device recorded.
To do the home sleep test, you will attach the following equipment before getting into bed:
- Sensors under your nose to monitor snoring as well and your airflow
- An elastic belt wrapped around your chest to monitor the effort you use to breathe
- An oxygen detector on your finger to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood as well as your heart rate
The pros and cons of home sleep tests
A home sleep test will not work for every patient but if it works for you, there are some advantages. It is less expensive than spending a night in the sleep lab and you may be more comfortable sleeping in your own home. However, the home sleep test equipment is less sensitive than that used in the sleep lab so the data collected may not be as comprehensive or precise. Additionally, this test can only be used to diagnose sleep apnea, not any other sleep disorder