Can I get a sleep study at home?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 10/25/2012.
Can you do an at home sleep study instead of a sleep study at a sleep lab if you have sleep apnea? My doctor told me to contact a sleep specialist to get a sleep study but I would prefer to take the sleep study at home. Are there disadvantages to these tests? Are they less thorough that sleep studies at sleep labs? I believe that I may have had sleep apnea for many years. I've repeatedly been told that I snore and always feel tired during the day.

Doctors Answers (6)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 10/30/2012

Yes, you may get a sleep study at home. Screening for sleep apnea is fairly reliable but there is much variation in the results depending on which equipment is used. If the apnea I significant that variation is not usually a big issue. After you are diagnosed, it is recommended that you have you next study done in a sleep lab. There, you will be placed on a CPAP and the pressures will be increased until you stop having apnea and snoring. Sometimes, it will be best to switch to a BiPAP. This decision cannot be made without a sleep technician monitoring you. CPAP means "continuous positive airway pressure" and BiPAP is a machine which allows you to breath in with one pressure and exhale and a lower pressure. The other advantages to an attended versus a home study are such things as being able to reapply or adjust electrodes that fall off, usually measure leg movements which are an important aspect of sleep disorders, monitor any movements such as sleep walking or talking, correct artifact in the recording device, etc. You should feel much better after being treated for your sleep disordered breathing.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 10/29/2012

A home study can be ordered by any physician or a sleep specialist may order one over several nights to identify significant sleep disordered breathing. They are best used as screening tools and an in lab sleep study for CPAP titration if warranted.

Anil Mattoo, MD
Answered on: 10/26/2012

Yes, you can arrange for a home sleep study, however, an in-lab study is more accurate. It picks up a lot more data such as restless leg syndrome, etc. Please call us and we can explore the options with you.

Terry M. Himes, DO
Answered on: 10/26/2012

YES, however it is a very limited study and can only identify sleep apnea. If there are possible co-morbidities, i.e. restless leg syndrome, or other health issues involved it will not identify them and could lead to additional unidentified concerns. I would suggest a brief consult with a sleep staff specialist to identify and evaluate your personal needs and benefit.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 10/26/2012

Home sleep testing is an option and many times is covered by insurance policies. If it is not covered by your insurance, you would be able to pay cash for the home sleep study. Contact an Accredited Sleep Center and they can direct you to their home sleep study department.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 10/26/2012

First you would need an evaluation by a sleep specialist to assess whether you qualify for a home study. No question that a attended study in the lab has advantages as we can evaluate whether the apnea is positional or only on dream sleep.