FAQs about home sleep apnea testing (HSAT)

Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a simple test that records metrics like your pulse, how hard it is for you to breathe, movement, brainwaves and how much oxygen is in your body. This can happen in two ways: either by visiting a sleep center, or by taking the test at home. During your test, if you experience five or more periods where you stop breathing, it is likely that you’ll be diagnosed with sleep apnea.
A Home Sleep Test takes place in the comfort and convenience of your home. Prior to the test, you will be instructed by a technician on how to use the home testing machine. You then go home, turn on the machine, and sleep in your own bed while the machine records metrics like your pulse and the effort required to breathe. It is a simple, comfortable way to assess if you are suffering from a sleep disorder.
  • Comfort: Taking the test in your own home allows you to sleep in a familiar, comfortable environment.
  • Accessibility: HST is convenient because you do not have to spend the night in a sleep center. This makes it accessible to those who are homebound, such as the elderly, or those with illnesses or mobility issues. 
  • Cost: Home testing can be less expensive. If you have any concerns about what your insurance will cover, speak to us—we’re contracted and in-network with hundreds of insurance companies, keeping your costs as low as possible.

Get started today—request a sleep study and our sleep doctors will help you decide which sleep test will be the most comfortable and convenient for you.

So you stop feeling so tired, and for better health.

A Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT) is a screening test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and snoring, and is associated with obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

The biggest reason to have your HSAT is simply excessive daytime sleepiness – You feel more tired than you should.  Excessive daytime sleepiness lowers the quality of life, affects relationships, hinders work performance, can cause personality issues such as irritability and lack of focus, and can create dangerous situations such as impaired driving.  You may feel tired all day and nearly every day, and feel like you can’t live your life to the fullest.  Diagnosing and treating a sleep disorder could give you back your energy, alertness, and enthusiasm – It could give you back your real life.

Snoring is another significant symptom.  Snoring can be an issue for the bed partner and can cause discord, relationship issues and separate bedrooms.  It can be embarrassing or make the snorer an object of ridicule.  About 60% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea, and nearly everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea snores. 

Obesity can also be related to sleep disorders.  Sleep disorders can contribute to obesity due to low energy, daytime sleepiness and apathy.  Obesity is a risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Sleep disorders are also related to other significant medical conditions.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.   

The reason to have a sleep study is to find out why you’re sleeping poorly and what treatment options might help, so you can improve your quality of life and your health.

1. They monitor breathing, not actual sleep.

“A sleep test is meant to evaluate a patient for sleep apnea, and it monitors breathing parameters, not the sleep itself,” Patil says. The sleep test won’t analyze how long you’re in light or deep sleep, for instance. Instead, it will measure pauses in and absence of breathing, how much effort it takes to breathe and whether your breathing is shallow.

2. Your doctor needs to prescribe it.

This isn’t an over-the-counter test. Your primary care physician or a physician at a sleep clinic can order it to be taken home.

3. It uses sensors to detect breathing patterns.

The sensors include a small probe over your finger that measures oxygen levels. You’ll insert another mask with tubes into your nostrils and secure it around your ears, similar to an oxygen mask. Other sensors are placed on your abdomen and chest to measure their rise and fall as you breathe.

4. It’s a small commitment.

Most at-home sleep tests are used just for one night. It’s also less expensive than a sleep study in a clinic, says Patil. “It’s usually a third to a fifth of the cost of doing an in-lab study, and it’s typically covered by insurance,” he says.

5. It’s convenient.

With an at-home study, you’ll be in the comfort of your own surroundings, which could offer a more accurate reading of how you actually sleep, Patil says.

6. It doesn’t completely rule out apnea.

After the test, your results will be reviewed by a sleep technologist and sent to your physician. If symptoms persist, your physician might recommend an in-lab study. Home tests can sometimes be inaccurate: For instance, your sensors might fall off during the night. At a lab, a physician is on-site to monitor you.

7. You might have other sleep issues.

Not all sleep disorders are caused by breathing trouble. If your symptoms persist, you might not have apnea. Other common sleep issues that don’t affect the airways include movement disorders that cause nighttime restlessness or narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the body’s sleep-wake cycles and causes excessive sleepiness. Your physician can work with you to pinpoint the cause.
Absolutely not! Your sleep study is completely pain-free!
A lot of patients feel some level of apprehension. Our goal is to inform you as best we can to ease any of your worries. We also encourage you to bring anything that will make you feel more comfortable such as your pillow, a book you like to read before bed, or your favorite pajamas! Many patient’s even leave their sleep study having a better night sleep than they’ve had in a while! The devices attached do allow you to turn and move around. In fact, after a while, you may not even notice them! In extreme cases, your provider can prescribe a sleep aid that you can take upon arrival for your study. Please talk to your doctor if you feel you would need a sleep aid.
Home sleep test pros: – less expensive – more convenient and comfortable
The sleep technologists will be observing you via video to monitor any movements that you may be experiencing during the night. None of the video feed is recorded, however, it is just for observation purposes for the sleep technologist.
Depending on the results of your home sleep apnea test, you may require follow up services. If you test positive for sleep apnea, your physician may recommend an in-center CPAP titration to administer CPAP therapy and find a treating pressure. Alternatively, you may be provided an auto-titrating CPAP device to use at home. This depends upon the recommendations in your sleep study, your physicians .