Can I Do My Sleep Apnea Test at Home?

The Short Answer from a sleep medicine expert

Home Sleep Study

Q: Can I do my sleep apnea study at home?

A: Sleep studies can be done at home for sleep apnea. However, your probability of having sleep apnea must be high, and you must have no major health issues.

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Traditional sleep studies are performed in a sleep laboratory located in a hospital or hotel. Sensors are placed on your scalp, your chin, around your eyes, and on your chest and legs to monitor:

  • Brain waves.
  • Eye movements.
  • Heart rate.
  • Body movements.

Belts are also placed around your chest and abdomen, and sensors are placed near your nose and mouth, to monitor your breathing. A fingertip probe monitors your oxygen levels.

Today, we also offer home testing for sleep apnea. However, this is an abbreviated sleep study that records only your breathing, oxygen and heart rate.

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While home sleep studies are easy to do, and the results are quickly available, they are used only to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

So if your doctor refers you for evaluation of sleep problems other than sleep apnea alone, you’ll definitely need to get your test done in a sleep laboratory. 

—Sleep medicine specialist Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS

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