What is a Home Sleep Study Test? How Does It Work?

What is a Home Sleep Study Test? How Does It Work?

Going by the term polysomnography in professional circles, a sleep study aims to get to the bottom of sleep disorders. These can get in the way of a good night’s rest, sapping productivity for affected individuals during the day and ultimately compromising their overall health and well-being. To counter this and solve sleep problems and the consequences they have, your physician may suggest an at-home sleep study. Due to the cost-effectiveness and convenience they afford, these are all the rage these days. If you are keen to uncover just what they’re all about, read on as we give you all the details on what to expect.

What a home sleep study test is and the basics of how it works

We’ve already described what sleep studies are, so let’s transition into home sleep study tests. You see, most of these assessments often occur in a sleep lab or facility. But when a sleep study or observation occurs outside of these aforementioned conventional settings, then it becomes a home sleep study test, which goes by the following other monikers as well: 

  • PG or polygraph
  • OOC recording (Out-of-center) 
  • HST or home sleep test

Since most people don’t have the equipment or expertise to self-perform a home sleep test, a special clinic often provides the special tools or technology you need. There’s nothing special you need to do after that, rather than get the devices connected and set up. Your sleep clinic may provide education for this part. Then you sleep as you normally would, and the technology gathers data that helps sleep technicians analyze various metrics and come up with a diagnosis. 

To combat insufficiencies in personnel or technology, your sleep lab may choose to outsource to a provider of sleep scoring services such as Techindia to increase accuracy, access deeper diagnostics reports, or reduce backlogs.

In terms of what measurements are taken in particular during an at-home sleep test, these can include oxygen levels, abnormal pauses in breathing, and much more. Sleep technicians will measure these variables via an ecosystem of various sensors and biometrics.

When a home sleep study test is ideal

Is it better to do a sleep study at home? Although most experts recommend an in-lab sleep study over a home sleep study test, there are times when the latter is a more plausible option. 

Your sleep disorder could be tied to your home environment and certain triggers within it that cause sleep distractions. A sleep lab study test hence may not offer the complete picture of sleep disorders in such cases which is why a home sleep study test may be more beneficial.

Some more advantages of a home sleep study test include: 

  • Comfort: Sleep study patients can feel more comfortable and at ease in a familiar environment 
  • Less expensive: On average, in-lab sleep studies tend to cost four times as much as at-home sleep tests
  • Convenience: At-home sleep studies can occur at the patient’s discretion, at a time suitable for a busy schedule, without having to travel. Beyond that, coordinating a sleep study at a far way sleep clinic can also be hectic

Moreover, while they monitor fewer vitals compared to sleep lab study tests, they can be just as accurate with the right sleep study reporting services in your corner. 

When a home sleep study test is not ideal 

If you have obstructive sleep apnea and other respiratory problems resulting from sleep disorders, a home sleep study test is well-advised when done by a qualified sleep lab.  

But home sleep study tests do have their limitations, and they aren’t always recommended.  For patients combating more complex sleep study problems, they may need to check in to a sleep lab that offers more comprehensive technology on-site that captures way more body functions in comparison to mobile home equipment.

Due to more in-depth brain activity analysis, a sleep lab may help diagnose a range of advanced sleep disorders that home-sleep studies may fall short of detecting, including: 

  • Narcolepsy
  • Intermittent limb actions
  • Seizures 
  • Congestive heart failure and more

How to know that you need an at-home sleep study test

Many red flags might point to sleep apnea and other disorders that might warrant a sleep test. Some of the common symptoms include the following: 

  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Feelings of fatigue after waking up
  • You snore when you sleep
  • You cannot stay asleep constantly
  • You experience sleepiness during the day

Depression, a lack of focus or absentmindedness, and insomnia may also indicate that it’s time to consider getting a home sleep study test done. 

How to prepare for a home sleep study test

Before you can get down to a home sleep study test, there are a bunch of things you need to work out to be adequately prepared. First, you need to be upfront with your sleep clinic of choice about any medications you’re on or have recently used. It’s also important to take up the matter with your doctor to seek the green light to carry with the at-home sleep study.

Alternatively, if you have insomnia or anxiety, sleep labs may recommend certain drugs to help you sleep more comfortably. That being said, here are a few tips from our sleep study interpretation service to aid your preparation: 

  • Steer clear of alcohol and caffeinated drinks a day leading up to the study
  • Avoiding napping during the day of the test
  • Don’t use gels, oils, or hair sprays which can interfere with recording

Let Techindia make your home sleep study test a success

Techindia offers highly qualified RPSG or sleep technicians who are versed with AASM standards and deliver superior quality sleep study reporting services. We manually score sleep studies to ensure accuracy and leverage a diverse range of superior software technology that provides deeper diagnostic reports of the highest standards. If you’re a patient who’d like to get to the bottom of a sleep disorder or are in need of a trusted sleep study interpretation service to power your home sleep test, Techindia is here for you. Contact us now. 


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