Home Sleep Studies
From the Comfort of Your Own Bed. Home Sleep Studies Help Patients Rest Well
By Jennifer Wilson
If you wake up a lot during the night or you feel exhausted during the day, you may have a sleep disorder.
Sleep studies can help your doctor determine if you have an underlying disorder that’s affecting how well you sleep. Some people may need to have an overnight study in a sleep lab, but others can benefit from an at-home test.
To have a home sleep study, your primary care physician has to order one. You can also schedule an appointment at Lexington Sleep Solutions, which is part of Lexington Medical Center’s network of care, for an initial evaluation. During that evaluation, if you qualify for a sleep study, the doctor can order a home sleep test or a sleep study to be completed at the sleep lab.
“A home sleep test measures heart rate, oxygen levels, airflow and breathing effort,” said Sarkis S. Derderian, DO, FCCP, D, ABSM, at Lexington Sleep Solutions. “A small microphone on the home sleep test measures the degree of snoring.”
Home tests are ideal for people who are at high risk for sleep apnea. These people are frequently tired during the day, snore, have morning headaches, experience unrefreshing sleep, have difficulty concentrating or experience memory loss. Home sleep studies serve as a helpful tool to diagnose patients who are home bound, elderly or who require a caregiver.
But not all home sleep studies are created equally.
“Different types of devices measure different parameters. Some measure only two things, like oxygen and heart rate, while others measure four or more things, such as oxygen, heart rate, airflow and breathing effort,” said Dr. Derderian.
The biggest benefits of a home sleep test for patients are cost and convenience.
“Home tests are less expensive because they do not require ancillary support and equipment. You are able to pick up the equipment at your convenience and drop it off the next day without having to plan for an overnight stay,” he said.
You are also in the comfort of your own bed during a home test.
“Patients may feel a little hindered with a few extra wires, but most people do not have any trouble sleeping normally in their own beds. Sleeping normally will give the doctor the best picture of your sleep,” said Dr. Derderian.
At Lexington Sleep Solutions, a trained sleep technician shows you how to set up the equipment and answers any questions when you pick up the study equipment. When you return the next day, the sleep technician gathers your information for a board-certified sleep physician to interpret your results.
“If you do not have a high probability of sleep apnea, a home sleep test may not be beneficial to you,” said Dr. Derderian. “If you have certain medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, lung disease or neuromuscular disease, your physician may recommend that you complete an in-lab study that provides a more complete evaluation of your sleep.”