Do you often wake up feeling tired? Signs that you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea include waking up with a headache or a dry mouth. It’s a condition whereby you stop breathing for at least ten seconds while you’re asleep.
This happens when the muscles in your throat relax, and your airway is narrowed or, in some cases, closed. Hence your breathing is interfered with. Testing for sleep apnea at home is a cost-effective and effortless way to find out if you’re having trouble breathing.
The test is administered using a wearable device (sleeping monitor) that measures your blood oxygen levels while also monitoring your breathing pattern and effort. However, for a more accurate assessment of any sleep issues, you might have to do an overnight sleep study at a hospital; it’s a better choice. It covers more signals, including muscle tone or leg movements, and is attended by a sleep technician.
What are sleep apnea test options?
To properly diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, you will be asked about your symptoms by a doctor. If the doctor suspects you might be suffering from sleep apnea, then you might undergo a nighttime sleep test.
The test is conducted at either a hospital, lab, or clinic. They’ll monitor your breathing and also other vital signs. It’s also possible to record similar information from home while you sleep using a different, smaller device.
A lab sleep study is used in diagnosing different sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. When you undergo a lab study, you’re provided with a board-certified sleep medicine physician with a complete evaluation of your sleep. You’ll have to spend the whole night at a sleep center or hospital.
The process measures your sleep cycles, sleep position, and limb movements. The in-lab tests provide the most accurate diagnosis. They mostly take place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. if you aren’t comfortable with that timeline, it may be better to do a home test.
On the other hand, a home sleep study isn’t as complicated as lab tests. You won’t need a technician. Instead, a portable breathing monitor is prescribed by your doctor.
They contain a finger clip that keeps track of your heart rate and keeps track of your oxygen levels. After the test, you share the test results with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
What are the pros and cons of testing for sleep apnea at home?
There’s a criterion used to determine whether someone can qualify to have a home sleep apnea test. They ensure the process is conducted correctly for the correct diagnosis. A diagnostic polysomnogram is recommended for pediatric patients. Only patients who are over 18 years old can do the tests at home.
People with the following medical conditions may not be able to do a sleep apnea test at home: moderate to severe pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, primary insomnia, cognitive or language barriers, among others. There are benefits and disadvantages of doing sleep tests at home.
- A home test offers you more convenience than one done in the lab. You follow your usual routine, and this can actually help get a more accurate reading when you fall asleep than when you follow a laid-out routine in the lab.
- You won’t have to wait for very long to get your results. Once you’re provided with the portable breathing monitor, you’re able to immediately self-administer the test. You won’t have to wait as long as you would for the lab results.
- It’s much more accessible to people who don’t live close to a sleep center and want to do the test.
- A home test costs less than one done at the lab.
- The results are less accurate, and this is dangerous if you have a high-risk health condition.
- You might still end up doing an in-lab sleep study if your doctor recommends it, whether your results are positive or negative.
- A home test won’t detect other sleep problems you might be suffering from, such as narcolepsy.
Sleep apnea tests you can take right now.
Sleep apnea can lead to severe health problems. They should not be overturned. If you’re suspecting you might be suffering from different sleep breathing disorders, it’s wise to assess your sleep.
You can take a number of additional tests to find out whether you suffer from sleep apnea or other sleeping conditions. Some of the tests you can try include:
Always consult your doctor and if you don’t feel well-rested in the morning, consider an at-home sleep test as the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Diagnosing sleep apnea can easily be done at home. Why not do it?