Diagnose sleep problems from your own bed

At-home sleep studies offer solution to inconvenient labs

ORLANDO, Fla. - There are reportedly 12 million Americans with sleep apnea. The disorder not only affects their sleep health, but their bed partners as well.

Many people find relief with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines. However, a prescription is required for the treatment and patients must go through a sleep study to diagnose apnea before getting the device.

High tech sleep labs are the gold standard for diagnosing sleep problems, but going through the process can be time consuming, uncomfortable and costly.

Now more doctors are allowing studies to be done at home. 

"Some patients are good candidates for a home sleep study, which can be very comfortable having the study done in your own bed," said Dr. Laurence Smolley with Cleveland Clinic Florida.

According to Smolley, portable at home sleep study devices are a good fit for apnea patients with no other major underlying health conditions. 

Dominick Carissimi decided to do an at home study after his wife complained about his constant snoring. 

"I'm trying to help her out and at the same time figure out what's going on myself," he said.

The at-home devices monitor airflow, respiratory effort, oxygen levels, and pulse rate.

"It seems fairly simple, straightforward, and I have the convenience to call it a night and then wake up in the morning just like it's part of the regular routine," said Carissimi. " I don't have to drive across town to take part in the clinic overnight and all that inconvenience."

After one night, the device is returned to the hospital so doctors can determine if a patient suffers from sleep apnea.

Price and eligibility for the at-home testing could depend on insurance coverage.  Several Central Florida doctors offer the at home studies.   

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