Home Sleep Test vs Lab Sleep Test

Breathing and Sleep Center of Colorado Springs

If you’re a person suffering from sleep disordered breathing, it’s not something you should ignore.  Many serious issues can be caused from this condition. A recent study concluded approximately 13% of the US population is afflicted with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and are unable to get restful sleep.

To find out if you suffer from sleep disordered breathing, you can take a simple test, either at home or in a controlled environment like a sleep lab. Below you’ll learn about the differences between a home sleep test and a lab sleep test, so you can make an informed decision about which might be better for you. If it turns out you are suffering from a sleep disorder, there are corrective actions you can take.

In-Lab Sleep Test

When you participate in a lab sleep study, you’ll be spending all night at the facility, and the test will be administered by a registered polysomnographic technologist. One of the advantages of the lab version of the test is that your brainwave activity can be measured, and this is not possible with the home sleep test. The in-lab test is more accurate in general, simply because more sensors are used, so the data is more reliable. The one significant drawback to an in-lab sleep test is that it could cost upwards of $3000, and this may be too expensive for some participants. It might also be somewhat inconvenient for you to have to spend an overnight at the facility, especially if it is not located close to home. 

In-Home Sleep Test

One of the great advantages of an in-home sleep test is that it’s much more convenient, and far less costly than the laboratory version. In order to conduct an at-home sleep test, you’ll have to pick up a portable monitor from your physician, learn about its operation, and conduct the test yourself at home. It still has a cost to conduct the at-home version of the test, but this is far more affordable than the laboratory test. The at-home test is highly accurate in diagnosing patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, but for other types of sleep disorders it can be less accurate.

Which way to go? 

If you’re not sure which type of sleep test might be more appropriate for you, contact us at the Breathing and Sleep Center.


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