By Vicki Richmond, RPSGT, Technical Director
Home sleep testing is becoming popular with patients and and more insurance companies require them, rather than in laboratory testing as a starting point. Home sleep tests are capable of diagnosing sleep apnea, but are unable to diagnose other sleep disorders like narcolepsy, parasomnias, and sleep movement disorders.
The question is, why insurance companies require home sleep testing if an in lab sleep study can give so much more information…. There are several reasons, but the most predominant reason is home sleep tests are less expensive and can diagnos severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea on par with an attended in laboratory study. In deed sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in adult patients. If the home sleep test is negative for sleep apnea, an attended in laboratory study is warranted to check if there are other sleep disorders present.
Home sleep test are easy to use with only a few sensors to place on your body. Some home sleep testing devices have one sensor on the finger, one in the nostrils, and one that goes around the chest. These sensors record respiratory airflow, respiratory effort, heart rate, and oxygen level.
An in laboratory sleep study requires a Sleep Technologist to hook up the patient with many sensors and the Technologist also views the data throughout the night. An in laboratory sleep test can diagnose may sleep disorders such as sleep movement disorders, parasomnias, and REM Behavior Disorder.
Depending on the type of study that you qualify for per your insurance, you will still get answers regarding your sleep issue and be able to travel a path toward restful sleep. Iowa Sleep provides both home sleep tests as well as attended in-laboratory studies. Our doctors diagnos and treat all sleep disorders. Click here to learn more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Have a question you’d like to have answered or learn more about? Send it to us through our easy online form or call 1-800-226-6084.