How can I properly be tested for Sleep Apnea?

SLEEP TESTING

Testing for suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is done with an overnight sleep test. In some cases this can be done at home using a portable sleep testing device. In order to test for suspected severe OSA, Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), restless leg syndrome, insomnia or cardiac related sleep disorders the study must be done in a Sleep Lab attended by a sleep technician. Mountain Sleep Diagnostics offers both types of test.

Joanne K.

Thank you the technician was very professional. Thanks again.

Broomfield

What is a test like in one of your sleep centers?

Staying at a Mountain Sleep Diagnostics Sleep Center is similar to staying at a hotel. Patients have their own private rooms with a full size bed. There are one or two shared bathrooms in each Sleep Center that can be used during the night. Rooms have mounted TVs with Netflix available for viewing prior to sleeping.While bedding is supplied, patients are welcome to bring their own pillows or blankets if that helps them sleep better. 

Before the study begins a sleep technician will explain the process of the study and answer any questions you might have. They will also have you try on a CPAP mask to determine how it fits and so you know what it feels like. They will stick several small sensors to your face, head, chest and limbs. These sensors will monitor and record brain activity, heart activity, and body movement. Waistbands will be placed around the waist/chest to monitor body position as well as breathing effort. A small finger sensor will be placed on an index finger to monitor oxygen levels. A nasal cannula will be placed under the nose to measure air flow. 

All of the sensors will be monitored by the technician and after a few hours, if the patient shows enough signs of sleep apnea, treatment can begin. In some cases patients sleep really well the first half of the night and don't have problems until the early morning. In these cases, a second night is usually scheduled for treatment.

The study typically ends around 6:00 AM when the sensors are removed and the patient can return home. For pediatric patients, a parent will sleep in the room with their child in an over sized recliner. 

male hand holding CPAP mask, connecting
How does a home sleep study work?

In Home testing units will either be hand delivered or mailed to your home address. Face-to-face instructions are available for delivered units by the delivery driver. Each box of equipment includes paper instructions on how to use the device as well as a link to an online video which shows how to use the device. There is also a phone number to an after-hours sleep technician who can answer questions after 5:00 pm. 

The unit is a little larger than a deck of cards and attaches to a waist band that will be worn during the study. A sensor on the finger will be used to monitor oxygen levels and a nasal cannula will be worn under the nose to measure air flow. No oxygen will be provided. 

The patient will wear the equipment for one or two nights, depending on instructions from their provider or insurance company. After the study is done, the device will be picked back up, or the patient will be required to mail it back if it was mailed to them. 

If no data was recorded because of patient error or a malfunction with the equipment, the study will have to be repeated.