Your Guide to Sleep Studies at Home

Posted on: 13 August 2021

Sleep is the cornerstone of feeling well and keeping certain health conditions at bay. When you're always waking up feeling as though you're not rested, it's a good time to question whether you have an underlying health condition. One such condition that can affect your sleep is sleep apnoea. To diagnose it, your doctor may want to perform a home sleep study test. If you're not familiar with this type of study, it's handy to know how it works.

Sleep Apnoea and Poor Sleep

When you sleep, your muscles relax. This includes muscles in your throat and chest, and for most people, this isn't a problem. However, if you have sleep apnoea, the relaxation of those muscles restricts your airways.

When your airways restrict, your body will naturally wake up so that you can get more air. While you might not remember all your nighttime awakenings, they can happen dozens of times a night. As a result, you won't achieve restful sleep and you'll spend your days feeling tired.

Using a Home Sleep Study Test

A home sleep study test involves wearing a small device that will monitor your breathing and oxygen levels as you sleep. When there is a reduction in your breathing and oxygen levels, it will record those events as a period where your sleep apnoea is causing you to wake. After wearing the device, you'll return it to your doctor who will interpret the recordings.

In some cases, you may need to progress to a lab sleep study. However, home tests are very thorough and can usually act as a firm basis for diagnosing sleep apnoea. Devices vary in where you place them and what they record. The type of device you use will depend on the symptoms you present with.

Treating the Condition

How your doctor will treat your condition will depend on its severity. For example, if you're waking more than 30 times an hour, then it's severe. But only a handful of times per hour could indicate that it is mild.

Lifestyle changes such as losing weight and using specific pillows can apply to almost any form of sleep apnoea. But if yours is severe, you may need to use a machine that will open your airways at night. Whatever the nature of your diagnosis is, following your doctor's guidelines can help you improve your rest. Once you start sleeping more, you'll notice a significant difference in your well-being.


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