The positives and negatives to home sleep testing
Most people have experienced their share of sleepless nights. Whether it be stress, diet, kids, or other reasons, not getting enough sleep can put a major damper on your day.
However there are many Americans who experience this problem not just occasionally, but every night. In most cases, these individuals suffer from sleep apnea, a chronic condition affecting millions that disrupts your sleep.
Sleep apnea relief is highly sought after for those who suffer from this condition. Typically, patients must be tested at a sleep laboratory to target the cause of the problem. This testing includes sensors being placed upon the patient which monitor the vitals and other take other measurements of the sleeping patient.
Technological advancements have allowed this process to now be accomplished at home. Home sleep testing is an option for those who suffer from sleep apnea and who are unable to go to go to a sleep testing center.
At-home testing provides many benefits that cannot be achieved through sleep laboratory testing. It is private and convenient and its low cost and un-invasive nature attracts many customers to this new technology.
In order to have a home sleeping test a variety of qualifications must be met by the patient. Those who desire such tests should be between 18-65, have no serious medical conditions, and have a clear case of sleep apnea.
If you meet these qualifications, the process of an at-home test is much simpler than a sleep lab. The main difference is that labs use around 20 sensors to monitor sleeping, whereas home tests only use 2-7. This allows patients to better fall asleep and sleep more comfortably, and allows for an easier set up.
The problem with less sensors is that it does not allow diagnosis of sleep disorders other than sleep apnea. Without these sensors, and a sleep technician, the results might not be as in-depth and accurate diagnose might be more difficult.
One big disadvantage is that the home sleep test does not record brain waves (EEG), to assess the different stages of sleep. It is not recommended in individuals with insomnia as it is difficult to tell if the patient was asleep on a home sleep test.
Both home sleep tests and lab sleep tests can be good options for those who need treatment from sleep disorders. The best option is to talk to your doctor to understand which option is right for you.
More info: American Academy of Sleep Medicine