In order to effectively and accurately diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your physician and/or sleep specialist will likely recommend an overnight sleep test. An overnight sleep test is a non-invasive exam in which an electroencephalogram (EEG) records electrical activity in different areas in the brain while you sleep. The EEG monitors your sleep stages and the cycles of REM and non-REM sleep you go through during the night in order to identify possible disruptions in your sleep pattern. The test will also measure your eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood (through a sensor), heart and breathing rates, and snoring and body movements. Also known as a polysomnography, the sleep test is often conducted in a sleep lab. However, depending on your symptoms, a home sleep test is an option that may be offered.
For an in-lab sleep test, the patient must come into the facility (sleep center or hospital) for an overnight study. Patients will spend the night at the facility and the test typically concludes around 6-7am. During the night, a registered polysomnographic technologist will monitor your sleep patterns. With a home sleep test, the patient will typically pick up the equipment the day of the test and be given a demonstration on how to use the machine. Testing is performed by the patient and the data stored on the equipment is uploaded at the sleep clinic. Your sleep specialist may recommend one to three nights of testing for a home sleep test. In terms of location and comfort, the convenience of the home sleep test is an obvious advantage. The home sleep test is also less expensive. However, an in-lab sleep test is usually considered to be a more comprehensive and thorough test. Home sleep tests are primarily used to diagnose patients who likely have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. They are not recommended for patients who have other sleep disorder comorbidities (coexistence of two or more diseases), or who have other medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and neuromuscular disease.
NYC SleepWell will recommend whichever sleep test is best suited to diagnose your condition. While we do offer home sleep tests, we will arrange an in-lab sleep test if we determine your condition requires it after an initial examination. In either case, the sleep specialists and physicians at NYC SleepWell will be involved in your diagnosis and treatment. At NYC SleepWell, our sleep specialists are experienced Board Certified doctors and dentists who will always recommend the best course of action for your needs. Our goal, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well and be healthy!