The most common form of testing for sleep disorders is the sleep lab. Sleep labs are at hospitals, some are private, but you, as the patient, are not in your own home.
Trying to sleep in front of a bunch of strangers with wires and machines strapped to you is a totally artificial experience. Many patients feel that spending the night in a sleep lab is a traumatic experience. Fortunately there are effective alternatives.
Portable home sleep testing costs 50-90% less than sleep labs and yields the same results. At-home sleep testing significantly reduces the cost and discomfort of going to a sleep lab, not to mention that a familiar sleeping environment is more likely to yield accurate results.
The palm-size device is connected to a strap that goes around the chest, a cannula, and a fingertip oximeter. From these three points, the device records breathing effort, air flow, and oxygen level, respectively. Usually one night sleeping with the device will determine whether or not you are suffering from sleep apnea and how severe it is. The collected data is analyzed and scored by a sleep technologist who looks for how frequently the patient stops breathing, for how long, and other parameters.
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Watch some videos about home sleep testing here.