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A Home Sleep Study is a simplified version of an In Lab Polysomography that focuses on nocturnal breathing only. Home sleep studies are only used to diagnose or rule out obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because the emphasis is on breathing, it’s possible to use fewer sensors.


Not all patients are good candidates for a home test and not all insurance carriers will cover the cost of the study. If you need a sleep study, your doctor will make a recommendation based on your specific situation whether you should have your test done in the lab or at home.


If you’ve been scheduled for a home sleep study, you’ll need to pick up the equipment from one of our sleep centers. You’ll meet with a sleep technologist to learn how to properly place the sensors and start the study. He/She will insure proper placement and instructions on how to complete the study at home.


That night, before bed, you’ll need to secure sensors to your upper lip, chest, abdomen and finger. These sensors will record information about your airflow, snoring, breathing effort, heart rate and oxygen levels throughout the night. In the morning, you’ll remove the sensors, return everything to the test kit and return the equipment to the Sleep Center so we can download and analyze the data. We will prepare and send the data to our board certified sleep specialist for interpretation

Is an HST better than a sleep test performed at the sleep lab?

In patients with a high likelihood of moderate to severe sleep apnea, home sleep testing is comparable to tests performed in the sleep lab. However, HST tends to underestimate severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) compared to an in-laboratory sleep test, but it does detect the presence of OSA.


Acceptance of home testing is growing in the sleep medicine community: In 2007 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine(AASM) revised a long-standing policy and now endorses the use of portable monitoring for a specific group of people. 

Who is eligible? Home tests aren't for everyone. Even if you don't want to go to a sleep lab, it's still important to have a full exam with a certified sleep specialist to determine whether you can skip the overnight lab study. The AASM approves the use of home tests only if you meet the following criteria. 


  • You are between 18 and 65 years of age. Home sleep tests are not recommended for children or older adults.

  • You have a high risk of moderate-to-severe sleep apnea. Your risk for sleep apnea can only be determined by a complete sleep evaluation. Key risk factors include loud and frequent snoring, daytime sleepiness, obesity, and witnessed pauses in breathing during sleep.

  • You have no other major medical problems. Other medical problems can affect the results of a home sleep test, including lung disease, neuromuscular disease, and congestive heart failure.

  • You have no other sleep disorders. Other sleep disorders also can affect the results of a home sleep test. During your evaluation the sleep specialist will determine if you show signs of having another sleep disorder. Examples include central sleep apnea, periodic limb movements, insomnia, parasomnias, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, and narcolepsy.


You also may be eligible for a home sleep test if health or safety concerns prevent you from being able to leave home for a night. A home sleep test also may be used to evaluate your response to some sleep apnea treatments, including oral appliances, PAP therapy,surgery or weight lossYou will need to go to a sleep center for an In Lab Polysomnography if you do not meet the criteria listed above.

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