September 29, 2023

Home Sleep Testing: A Convenient Solution for Sleep Disorders

Author: Jessica Fox

The Pros and Cons of Home Sleep Testing
Sleep disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can significantly impact a person’s well-being and overall health.1 Traditional methods of diagnosing these conditions involve spending a night at a sleep lab while connected to various monitoring devices with professional oversight throughout the study. With new technological advancements, a patient now has the option to conduct Home Sleep Testings (HST) in the comfort of their own homes. Let’s explore the benefits and processes of home sleep testing.

What is Home Sleep Testing (HST)?

A home sleep test is an overnight test conducted outside of a hospital or sleep lap used to diagnose sleep disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).2 Often, home sleep testing offers a cost-effective and convenient option because it takes place in the comfort of a person's home.

How Does Home Sleep Testing Work?
  • Obtain physician order: To initiate a home sleep test, you must have a face-to-face evaluation with your healthcare provider to determine if at-home sleep testing is appropriate. The HST requires a prescription.
  • Equipment: The portable home sleep testing kits can come in many variations. Typical units include a small device worn on the finger to measure oxygen levels, a chest strap to record breathing, and a nasal cannula to monitor airflow.
  • Recording: The devices collect data as you sleep, recording nighttime breathing patterns, oxygen levels, heart rate, motor activity, sleep position changes, and snoring events.3
  • Data Interpretation: Once the test is complete, the equipment will be returned to your ordering health care provider or a sleep specialist, who will analyze the data and determine whether your symptoms and data collected support the diagnosis of a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. Your healthcare provider will contact you to discuss the results and the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

Who Should Consider Home Sleep Testing?
  • Your prescribing practitioner will determine if Home Sleep Testing is appropriate for you.

Home Sleep Testing can be an effective and convenient way to diagnose certain sleep disorders. It offers comfort, convenience, and affordability, making it an attractive option for many individuals. If you suspect that you or a loved one has a potential sleep disorder or is experiencing symptoms such as chronic snoring or excessive daytime sleepiness,4 consult your healthcare provider to determine if an Home Sleep Test is an appropriate testing option for you.





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