The phrase “sleep study” makes many people think of someone lying in an uncomfortable bed at a medical facility, hooked up to various machines and trying to sleep while being observed by a doctor or lab technician. It’s an image that certainly seems to be at odds with a typical night’s sleep, and many patients wonder if they’ll even be able to fall asleep under such conditions.
This was the only choice for sleep studies in years past, but today there’s a much better option for patients who need to be tested for obstructive sleep apnea. Thanks to a home sleep study for sleep apnea, patients can now be evaluated and diagnosed by performing a simple test from the comfort and convenience of their homes.
In this blog, NYC-based pulmonologist and sleep disorder breathing specialist, Dr. Marc Bowen, will address what you can expect during your home sleep study for sleep apnea.
What is a home sleep study?
A home sleep study for sleep apnea is a specific type of sleep test that gathers and records information that enables doctors to correctly diagnose cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
Unlike traditional sleep studies, which were conducted in the clinical atmospheres of medical facilities such as sleep laboratories, a home sleep study can be completed easily and comfortably. The patient simply brings home a small device to perform the test from their bedroom. Most patients will be much more relaxed in this familiar, private environment.
What can I expect during my home sleep study for sleep apnea?
Once your physician has recommended a home sleep study, you’ll be given a device with specific instructions on how to perform your sleep apnea test. The entire process is simple and straightforward and is designed to ensure the most accurate results.
You’ll wear the small device attached across your forehead during your sleep study, and it will record important data as you sleep. This compact instrument is worn around your head like a headband, so it won’t be overly uncomfortable or interfere with sleep. It measures important data such as your airflow, blood oxygen saturation, pulse, brain waves, and snoring levels. After the test is over, you’ll return the device, and its data will be analyzed to determine your results. Results are usually available within a couple of days.
What are the advantages of a home sleep study for sleep apnea?
A home sleep study has numerous advantages over traditional sleep studies (performed in a medical facility) for the following reasons:
- Comfortable and convenient: It’s performed in the comfortable, familiar, and convenient setting of your own bed. You’ll be able to sleep much more easily than you would in a sleep study away from home.
- Greater accuracy: Your at-home sleep study may provide more accurate results than sleep studies away from home, because you’re likely to sleep more normally in your usual environment.
- No upheaval: You won’t need to change your normal work routine or arrange for childcare due to spending the night away from home.
- Less expensive: This option is cheaper than overnight sleep studies conducted in hospitals or sleep laboratories. Your insurance company will probably have to pay less for covering this type of test, and your out-of-pocket costs are likely to be lower as a result.
- Fast results: Test results are quickly and accurately interpreted.
Who should have a home sleep study?
Any patient with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or heart attacks, strokes, or irregular heart rhythms, may often have underlying obstruction sleep apnea as well. If you are exhibiting symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea – such as excessive daytime sleepiness, chronic snoring, interrupted sleep, or feeling chronically tired – Dr. Bowen may recommend that you undergo a home sleep study. This will enable him to get the data he needs to accurately diagnose your issue and recommend the next steps for proper treatment.
Where can I undergo a home sleep study for sleep apnea in NYC?
Dr. Bowen has nearly three decades of clinical practice experience, specializing in Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, and Internal Medicine. He’s dedicated to providing the highest level of care and creating a comfortable, personalized patient experience.
His goal is to help you achieve the restful and restorative sleep that you deserve while helping you avoid the many health issues that can be associated with sleep apnea.
If you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, contact our office to schedule an evaluation. You can also get started by making an appointment through our Patient Portal (existing patients). You’ll be taking the first step toward getting a good night’s sleep and improving your overall wellbeing.