Why You Should Have Your Sleep Test at Home

sleep apnea

If you are someone who takes more than 30 minutes to doze off, or if you wake up a lot during the night time, or if you constantly feel exhausted during the day, despite spending nine hours in bed, then there are all possibilities for you to suffer a distinct sleep disorder. The nature of the sleeping disorder required a doctor’s intervention for a more accurate diagnosis. Most probably those are symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition that is associated with the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Before consulting with a doctor, there are a number of home sleep study kits that one can try to diagnose their underlying sleep disorder. 

About sleep apnea:

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects 80 of the population. People who are affected by this problem stop breathing for a short duration during their sleep and thereby depriving their heart and brain of oxygen. Some people who suffer from obstructive sleep disorder wake up in the middle of the night and gasp for air. 

The sleep apnea test:

The sleep apnea test was traditionally performed by getting the person to stay awake overnight in a sleep lab so as to study a sleep study. The person had to sleep in an uncomfortable sleep center bed, in a lab and will be watched throughout the night. Owing to the non-availability of beds, the appointment for a sleep study can take weeks and months. The cost of having this test in a hospital is also very high. The best alternative for this is to get a home sleep test done. Read more here on how to get the test done from the comforts of one’s home. 

The home sleep testing device is a portable monitor that is lightweight and small. People can pick it up in a sleep lab. It comes with step by step instruction. The basics include placing a belt around the mid-section, which is again linked with the monitor with the help of a wire. It attaches a clip to the finger putting an airflow sensor under the nose. The monitor has to be turned on. The person will have to return the device to the lab the next morning. The technician will create a detail report based on the results that the machine derives. 

What is measured in the kit?

A home sleep test device or the HST helps in measuring, heart rate, oxygen saturation, movement of the chest and the abdomen, airflow, etc. It also records the time spent snoring and the position taken up by the person during sleep. The sleep test is performed in a lab measures all these aspects along with brain waves, leg movements, sleep time, etc. Leg movements are measured to diagnose restless leg syndrome. A home sleep test is not only effective in the diagnosis of sleep apnea, which is one of the most common sleep disorders, but not any other disorder. 

The outcome of a sleep apnea test:

Before starting the home sleep test, it is important to discuss the symptoms that one faces, as these may be related to sleep apnea. It is important to fill out a questionnaire and talk with the doctor about the sleep issues that face. If the doctor believes if the client may suffer sleep apnea, then he will prescribe a home sleep test. Read more about the entire process online before taking up the actual test.

The entire process of the home sleep test is pretty simple. The user has to simply follow the instructions given in the manual to set up the pulse oximeter and the cannula. After this, the subject has to go about with their normal night routine. As the subject under study is taking up the test in the comforts of their own home, they can relax and stay comfortable as possible during the entire procedure. It is the familiarity and the comfort of one’s own room that allows the doctors to see the reality of the client’s sleep in the normal environment. All recordings of the test are performed by the machine and the doctor will receive the results. He will then diagnose the exact condition and postulate the treatment options. 

Pros and cons of home test:

Pros:

  • The client is made to sleep in the comfort of their own home and bed
  • The cost of the test is comparatively cheaper
  • The test is convenient

Cons:

  • The home test can underestimate the severity of the sleep apnea extent compared with the in-lab test.
  • The test results are not extensive when compared with a lab test
  • The lab test can detect about 80 different types of sleep disorders
  • There is no measure to check if the person is attached to the monitor correctly. 

Verdict:

Nevertheless, the sleep apnea home test is highly effective in diagnosing and treating different sleep disorders at the most economical cost. 

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