What is a Home Sleep Test?

WatchPAT - What is a Home Sleep Test
Sleep. We spend about a third of our lives doing it. However, studies suggest that 50 to 70 Million Americans, both adults and children, suffer from sleep problems that can greatly affect their sleep quantity, quality and their overall health. Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, can have serious consequences. Dr. William Dement, father of sleep medicine, said, “You’re not healthy unless your sleep is healthy.”

What’s the Problem?

Sleep-disordered breathing is the term used to identify various problems during sleep that can range from disruptive, loud snoring to sleep apnea, which is when breathing is repeatedly interrupted due to blockage of the airway during sleep.
When regular breathing is interrupted, the amount of oxygen delivered through the blood to the brain and other vital organs diminishes. This contributes to interrupted sleep, and to conditions including daytime and nighttime drowsiness and fatigue, depression and anxiety, headaches and obesity.
The root cause of sleep-disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea is underdevelopment of the upper and lower jaws. This underdevelopment creates a constricted airway, which leads to sleep disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea. These conditions typically worsen over time. At Breathing and Sleep Center, we have permanent solutions to these issues that are alternatives to CPAP and jaw surgery. 
Untreated sleep apnea has been associated with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke/heart attack, dementia and a plethora of other conditions. Breathing correctly for better sleep is vital for all adults and children.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea requires trained professionals. In all areas of health care, a diagnosis is the first step required before undergoing any treatment.  When it comes to diagnosing breathing and sleep issues, there are several areas our doctors focus on. These include a complete review of medical history and symptoms, a thorough examination of the head and a 3D x-ray of the upper airway and jaws. The final and critical piece of diagnosis is a sleep test. 
Traditionally, you had to undergo an in-lab sleep study known as polysomnography (PSG). This takes place in a hospital setting with 20-30 wires connected to your body, which can be quite disruptive and uncomfortable. A polysomnography can be expensive and have long wait times before you can get scheduled. At Breathing and Sleep Center, we have a simpler and more convenient option with a Home Sleep Test (HST).
Dr Kevin Goles wearing sleep study probes

Figure 1 Dr. Goles undergoing a polysomnography of his own.

Figure 2 All the wires that are attached to your body during a polysomnography

What is a Home Sleep Test?

A Home Sleep Test is simple, painless way for diagnosing sleep apnea in the comfort of your own bed. The study uses a small portable device that you take to your home and only has 3 points of contact compared to the 20-30 wires required for polysomnography. The Home Sleep Test measures:
  • Apnea/Hyponea episodes (AHI) 
  • Respiratory disturbances (RDI)
  • Oxygen levels (ODI)
  • True Wake/Sleep time
  • Sleep stages: REM/Deep/Light 
  • Body position 
  • Snoring
  • Heart rate
  • Chest movement 

The patient puts on the sensors at night and sleeps normally in their own bed, then returns the equipment to the treatment center the following day, where the data is downloaded for diagnosis. The home sleep test results are typically provided in just a few days.

For further information see: 

Contact the Breathing and Sleep Center of Colorado Springs

We specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders caused by airway restriction due to underdeveloped jaws. Our team of trained, experienced dentists offer non-surgical treatments that allow our patients to restore and regain their sleep and quality of life.


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