Understanding Home Sleep Apnea Tests: Benefits, Devices, Metrics, and More

Last updated: September 15th, 2023

A home sleep apnea test (HSAT) is an overnight testing method conducted outside of a hospital or sleep lab to accurately diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in some people. It is cost-effective, convenient, and takes place in the comfort of one's home.

What Are the Benefits of a Home Sleep Apnea Test?

Home sleep apnea tests offer numerous benefits that make them preferable to traditional overnight sleep studies in a lab or hospital.

Cost-efficient: Home sleep apnea tests are significantly less expensive than their lab-based counterparts, in part because the tests can be done from your own home rather than in a lab.

Convenience: Unlike lab-based studies, home sleep apnea tests can be done without having to stay overnight in a facility, making them a more convenient option for many people.

Comfort: Home sleep apnea tests allow for a more comfortable sleep environment. This can be especially helpful for those who may have difficulty sleeping in a lab setting.

Home Sleep Test Devices

The exact home sleep apnea test setup varies between brands, but generally each setup will feature a few core components:

Sleep sensor: This device straps to your body and records your sleep patterns throughout the night.

Actigraph: This device straps to your arm and records your activity level and any movements you make while sleeping.

Pulse oximeter: This small device is placed on your fingertip to detect your heart rate and oxygen levels during sleep. This data can be used to detect sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

Internet connection: This is used to transfer the data collected during your home sleep test to your doctor.

Home Sleep Test Metrics

The sensors used in a home sleep apnea test measure a variety of metrics that can help medical professionals diagnose OSA. These metrics include:

Sleep time: How much time you spent sleeping.

Airflow: The amount of air you breathe in and out throughout the night.

Body position: The amount of time spent in each sleep position.

Blood oxygen level: How much oxygen is in your blood at any given moment.

Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per minute.

Respiratory events: Any breathing difficulty that arises during sleep.

How Does a Home Sleep Study Work?

Home sleep studies are typically conducted in two stages.

In the first stage, you will usually be asked to complete a short questionnaire so that the Snoring Mouthpiece Review team can understand your sleep habits and assess your risk of OSA.

In the second stage, you will be given a home sleep apnea test setup with sensors and an Internet connection.

You will then be asked to place the sensors in the appropriate locations on your body and connect them to the Internet using a secure connection. The sensors will measure your sleep metrics throughout the night and send the data to your doctor in real-time.

Which Sleep Test Is Right for You: Home-Based or In-Lab?

The best way to know which sleep test is right for you is to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate test for you. Generally, home sleep tests are suitable for patients with moderate OSA symptoms and those who don’t have other sleep disorders.

Talking to Your Doctor About At-Home Sleep Tests

If you think you may have OSA, the first step is to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing. Your doctor may recommend that you undergo an at-home sleep test to confirm the presence of OSA or another sleep disorder.

When scheduling an appointment with your doctor, be sure to ask about the different types of sleep tests available and which one would be best for your individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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