The Benefits of In-Home Sleep StudiesReading Time: 4 minutes
How can you find out if you have sleep apnea? An in-home overnight sleep study provides all the information that a doctor will need to confirm the diagnosis in the comfort of your own bed.
There are many benefits to an in-home sleep evaluation. It is more comfortable and convenient, less expensive and just as accurate for diagnosing sleep apnea as a test done in a sleep lab.
All About In-Home Sleep Tests
Like an in-lab sleep study, in-home evaluations record physiological information during one or multiple nights. The purpose is to provide your physician or sleep clinician with a full report of data measuring your actual sleep quality. In-home sleep evaluations are self-administered, yet they are a powerful diagnostic tool for sleep disorders, mainly sleep apnea.
An in-home sleep test aims to gather the following information overnight:
• Oxygen saturation,
• Respiratory effort.
What to Expect During an In-Home Sleep Test
Most referrals for sleep testing begin with a visit to your regular doctor. If sleep apnea is suspected, physical exam of your throat and airway, heart and lungs is usually recommended. Other possible sleep disorders may require a neurological exam.
In order to collect all the valuable physiological information needed, the in-home sleep evaluation will require an effort belt to be secured around your chest, a device to be positioned under your nose, and an oxygen monitor to be placed on your index finger. Our staff will demonstrate how each device works and how it should be used. It’s quite easy to do and it only takes a few minutes to get the equipment hooked up properly.
Once the equipment is set up, all you have to do is get into bed and go to sleep as you would on a normal night. You might imagine that it would be difficult to fall asleep with the different monitoring devices hooked up and attached to your body. However, most people are able to sleep long enough to provide the adequate amount of data to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
When you return the equipment to the sleep center, technicians will download the data collected. A sleep specialist will thoroughly review the sleep test data, your medical history and information provided by a physical exam, then schedule a consultation with you. Together, you and the clinician will review their findings and discuss any further testing that may be necessary or recommendations and treatment options.
Advantages of In-Home Sleep Testing
Many people who suffer from undiagnosed sleep problems wonder if it would be better to have an in-lab sleep analysis or a home study. Here are some of the reasons why patients prefer to have a sleep specialist perform the assessment at their house.
Comfort & Convenience
For some, the idea of sleeping in a different bed and being monitored can be unsettling or scary. That is why performing a sleep test in their own bed is the natural choice. It’s less intrusive and you can keep to your regular bedtime routine in the privacy of your own home.
For anyone that is home-bound, such as the elderly or patients with a chronic condition or who require in-home care, this type of sleep test is ideal.
Plus, it’s convenient even for busy people; you can schedule the test for a time that works for you and take the equipment home when you’re ready. Then, with a few instructions, patients are able to hook up the necessary physiological monitors and go to bed as usual.
Cost & Insurance Coverage
In addition to being more convenient, an in-home sleep study is also more cost effective. Usually, the fee is about ¼ of the cost of a test performed at a sleep center.
Insurance policies are generally more likely to cover in-home sleep testing. Check with your health insurance carrier to see if your situation meets the criteria for full or partial coverage. Most require a doctor’s referral, initial consultation with a sleep specialist or the presence of symptoms related to a disorder such as sleep apnea. Symptoms that may be expressly required for insurance purposes include excessive sleepiness, loud snoring, nighttime gasping, choking or observed sleep apneas.
In-home sleep studies are just as accurate as testing performed in a sleep center. The evaluation has a high rate of precision when diagnosing the existence and even the severity of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
When to Schedule a Sleep Test
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition and, without proper treatment, it can be a major health risk. Additionally, sleep deprivation quality impacts all areas of your life, including work performance, memory, mood, your ability to concentrate and function regularly.
If someone has witnessed signs of sleep apnea – gasping, irregular breathing, jolting awake to take breaths or excessively loud snoring – you should ask your doctor to refer you to a sleep clinic as soon as possible.
A doctor cannot accurately diagnose sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders, based solely on your medical history and symptoms. A thorough overnight sleep study, either in home or in a lab, will help get the treatment needed to sleep soundly and alleviate the long-term impact of the disorder on your health.
Where Can I Get a Sleep Study Performed Near Me?
If someone you love concerned that your snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea or if you wake up feeling still sleepy and groggy, it’s time to do something about it. A good night’s sleep is not that far away. Contact Sleep Health Solutions of Ohio for an overnight sleep test today.