Home Sleep Testing --
Last month’s newsletter
described three new devices that can be used in the home to screen for
obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing disorders. All three promise
to slash the cost of a sleep study performed in a sleep clinic by 50%-90%
-- but are all relatively new and will not provide the complete set of
data that would be obtained in a clinic.
newsletter, our friends at SleepQuest,
who provide sleep care services in California, pointed out that even
without the new devices, home sleep testing can be as reliable and
comprehensive as an in-clinic study, with savings of up to 37% (SleepQuest's
Research shows that home
testing can be as effective as testing performed in a sleep clinic. A 1998
study by the Hahnemann School of Medicine concludes that "unattended
polysomnography can be performed in the home with reliable and high
Apart from lower cost,
home testing is a lot more convenient. As SleepQuest points out: "If you
were to poll otherwise healthy patients, you would find that the majority
would prefer that the testing be done in the comfort of their own home.
Most patients who have undergone both in-laboratory studies and home
testing found that they slept better and longer at home. Furthermore, we
find that patients at home are able to complete the testing process faster
when compared to laboratories because home-based sleep care companies are
not limited by laboratory space."
SleepQuest and other
providers use a "continuum of care" model that starts with in-home
diagnosis and continues through provision of appropriate remedies such as
CPAP, with ongoing follow-up.
If you suffer from
tiredness and show signs of sleep apnea (take the
snoring questionnaire if you're not sure!), see your doctor. And if he or
she suggests you get on the waiting list for a sleep study, ask whether
you can have the test done at home.
plans to start a directory of providers of home sleep care and would
welcome any information from our readers of any such organizations in
Send me your experiences with this or other snoring cures and we'll use it in this slot.