Although a home sleep study can be used to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea in the majority of patients, some really should be studied in a sleep laboratory — these include persons with underlying heart or lung disease and certain chronic medical conditions, as well as those who are suspected of having sleep disorders other than sleep apnea. Most importantly, home sleep studies can be incorrect and miss the diagnosis of sleep apnea, or underestimate its severity.
Preliminary results from the world's largest sleep study have shown that people who sleep on average between 7 to 8 hours per night performed better cognitively than those who slept less, or more, than this amount.
Ten years ago, I spent two nights in a sleep lab at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, taking the test for sleep apnea, and wrote about it for Science Times. In the decade since my ordeal, the pendulum has swung sharply in the direction of the home test, said Dr. M. Safwan Badr, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which first recognized home testing for apnea in 2007. Insurers prefer it because it costs only about $300, about one-tenth that of a hospital test, and many patients like it, too.
Most home sleep studies will measure the following 3 types of information: nasal airflow, finger oxygen level, chest/abdomen movement. Other units will also have sensors that can tell your sleep position and snoring levels.
In contrast, in-lab studies also include brain wave signals (which determine sleep stages), chin muscles activity, leg muscle activity, and oral airflow thermometer. Comprehensive testing can be done at home, but not very practical, since leads tend to fall off when you move around during sleep.
Don't fear the sleep lab. Seriously, if you snore, tell your doctor and if he or she suggests going to a sleep lab to check for apnea, go ahead and do it. We're going t0 take good care of you and the results could change your life.
Sleep studies can be done in the patient’s home or at a sleep clinic. Either way, you will need to give your patient a referral or prescription for them to pass on to the sleep study provider.
So why do I say it is the beginning of the end for polysomnography? The clinical practice guideline still says PSG is the gold standard for diagnosis of OSA. I have three reasons...
The benefits of HSTs are that you can snooze in the comfort of your own bed versus a lab, it’s cheaper (they start around $250 to $300 versus $1300 in a lab), and more convenient—especially if you live far away from a sleep center.
I woke up on December 2, and for the first time in 70 days, I stood up. Or at least I tried to. The nurses wheeled me over to a hospital bed that would be tilted vertically, with blood pressure cuffs hugging my arm and my finger, an ultrasound machine pointing at my heart. Then they told me, with the encouragement that you'd give a toddler learning to walk, to try standing for 15 minutes.
The purpose of this article is to provide a simple and easy method to interpret the reported results of polysomnography for primary care physicians. This will facilitate better understanding and management of patients with sleep disorders and related complications.
Overall, my experience went better than anticipated. I was glad to learn that my apnea isn't severe and I don't need a CPAP. I'm hopeful that soon I can get a dental appliance that's covered by insurance, and that it will help me—and my wife—sleep more soundly.
Apnea is linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, an additional $3.4 billion in medical costs, and $16 billion in auto collision costs. Even though apnea has telltale signs (loud snoring, daytime fatigue), it goes undiagnosed 75 percent of the time.
Why? It's damned expensive and horrendously inconvenient to diagnose sleep apnea.
After an initial consultation with your physician or a sleep specialist, you may be referred for a sleep study. The medical term for this study is “polysomnogram,” which is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that usually requires spending a night or two in a sleep facility. During a polysomnogram, a sleep technologist records multiple biological functions during sleep, such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart rhythm and breathing via electrodes and monitors placed on the head, chest and legs.
This article aims to demystify sleep studies so you know what to expect if you want to make a positive step towards understanding and treating sleep apnea.
A home sleep apnea test (HST) is a sleep study that is used for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Most HST devices are portable – about the size of a telephone handset. Home sleep testing is also called ‘Unattended Sleep Study’. The other diagnostic tool for the evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea is Polysomnography. Polysomnography or PSG is a diagnostic test that uses the same sensors as HST but also includes EEG, EKG, EMG, and other biologic measurements in a laboratory setting with sleep technician or sleep technologist.
There are several different sleep disorders that are diagnosed using sleep studies, including sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy.
Your fancy sleep tracker is no match for a dedicated sleep lab. But who wants to spend 8 hours in a strange hospital room wired with electrodes while someone video records you all night? Now, several companies say they may have a compromise: high-tech sleep-monitoring headbands that combine brain wave–reading electrodes with sophisticated artificial intelligence. And best of all, they can be worn in your own bed.
Go beyond basic sleep tracking. Reveal how breathing and position impact your sleep quality.
What began as a simple one bedroom lab dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted with sleep disorders has evolved into a full service sleep diagnostic and related DME organization, with multiple conveniently located facilities throughout the region.