Alaska Sleep Education Center

Home Sleep Studies: Pros, Cons, & Procedures

Posted by Jennifer Hines

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on Jan 25, 2019 8:10:00 AM

home sleep studyHome Sleep Tests (HSTs) have burst onto the scene as an alternative to traditional sleep studies where the patient spends the night in a lab with a sleep tech conducting the study, but not everyone will fit the criteria for an HST.  At the Alaska Sleep Clinic, our Sleep Specialists will look at your medical history, sleep habits and sleep issues to decide if an HST is best for you.

Additionally, some insurance companies require an HST before they will consider an "in lab" study and some companies will not approve HSTs under any circumstances and we can help you navigate those waters as well.

Home Sleep Study Pros:

  • On average, a Home Sleep Test is about one-quarter the cost of an in-lab study.  

  • You get to be in your own home and sleep in your own bed.

  • They are a good diagnostic tool for generally healthy people with uncomplicated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Home Sleep Study Cons:

  • If a sensor falls off, you may not know it, whereas the lab tech would be right in to reattach it.  If a sensor is off for a good portion of the night, the study may need to be repeated.

  • HSTs are limited to sleep-disordered breathing and are not appropriate for patients with other conditions such as, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and others that may necessitate more advanced monitoring.

  • HSTs tend to underdiagnose. Because they don't use EEG electrodes to positively determine when the patient is asleep, the entire study will be scored from Start to Stop, versus an in-lab study where sleep is accurately recorded and only the sleep portion is scored.

If the Sleep Specialist determines that an HST is right for you, you will be scheduled for an appointment to pick up the device and be given a demonstration and instructions on how to attach and use it.

HST Devices and What Gets Recorded:

There are several brands of HST devices available and while what parameters they record may vary, all will at least include: a small nasal cannula to measure airflow, a belt around the upper chest to measure the movement of breathing, and a finger clip to measure the oxygen saturation of the blood (oximeter).

Other parameters may include: a small wire (thermistor) in front of the mouth to measure oral airflow, a second belt to measure breathing movement at the waist (diaphragm), and a position sensor to record when you are on your back, right or left side or stomach.   

The recording device itself is battery operated and attaches to the chest belt and is worn in front, so belly sleepers may have to adjust their position for the night.  Most are approximately the size of a smartphone and their thickness may be up to a couple of inches, but all weigh less than a pound.


When a patient comes to the Alaska Sleep Clinic to pick up their HST equipment, they are shown how to attach everything, what to do if something disconnects and how to turn the device on and off so that it should only take you ten minutes or so to put it on and be ready for bed.

You'll turn the device off in the morning, remove everything and return it to the sleep clinic.  The study will be scored and then sent to the Sleep Specialist for interpretation.

While up to 70% of all snorers out there with undiagnosed OSA may be a good candidate for an HST, not all snorers are created equal.


Sleep Study Follow-Up:

As with any medical treatment, compliance is critical to effectiveness, and effectiveness is critical to a positivePolysomnography outcome.

To ensure your treatment is effective and that you receive maximum benefit from your therapy, we strongly believe in and provide excellent patient follow-up care.

We are committed to making sure our patients are successful with positive airway pressure ( CPAP) therapy. Success begins with knowledge. As your premier local resource for sleep education, we are here to help you create a strong foundation on which to build a positive therapeutic experience. We consider ourselves your partner in this lifestyle change.

Knowledgeable professionals are available to answer all your questions and more. We pride ourselves on being the Full-Service Sleep Clinic you turn to for all your sleep needs.  At Alaska Sleep Clinic, we’ve learned that these extra steps we take are vital to ensure you’re getting truly effective care. That's why we developed the SleepN Program to better help you with your durable medical equipment (DME) compliance.



SleepN Program, exclusively at the Alaska Sleep Clinic, is the ultimate support for CPAP compliance and equipment maintenance.

If you’ve given up on your CPAP machine (or are avoiding it altogether) let us show you a better sleeping couple S9 SwiftFX1 300x227 SleepNsolution…Introducing the SleepN program from Alaska SleepClinic… and how we’re with you every step of the way.

Roughly 55% of people given CPAP Therapy equipment stop using it within a few weeks, mostly because they find their masks uncomfortable to wear and just plain give up on their treatment.

At Alaska Sleep Clinic we’re sleep specialists. Finding answers and solutions to sleep problems is what we do. So we created the SleepN program to help ensure you’re successful with your CPAP…and to protect your health. That’s why we provide SleepN free of charge to all our clients.

Here’s what makes SleepN unique:

  • You get a remote wireless monitoring system that allows our dedicated sleep technologists to keep an eye on your progress every night while you sleep – assuring that any problems are noticed and dealt with immediately.

  • We offer you the latest in CPAP equipment – it’s lighter, whisper-quiet, and fits better than anything available even a couple of years ago. (The more comfortable the equipment, the more likely you are to use it.)

  • SleepN also automatically alerts our sleep technologists when you need new filters, tubing or masks. These are typically covered by your insurance, so you’ll only pay the postage. This saves you time and ensures that you always have working equipment.

  • Best of all, this added attention is included in your care at no extra cost. We believe that your health is too important for you not to use your CPAP equipment – so we want to ensure that it works for you in every way.

For additional information on our Free SleepN Program and to maintain continual CPAP Compliance you can download additional information here:

Feel free to contact us or click here for more info on how Alaska Sleep Clinic can help determine in an HST is right for you!

Chronic Drowsiness     

Topics: home sleep test, in-lab study, sleep test

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