What is a Sleep Study?
Maybe your doctor suggested you get a sleep study or sleep apnea test and you have no idea what all it entails and you may even be a little nervous. No worries, we are going to cover everything here.
First, to put it short, a sleep study or sleep test is you being studied/tested by a doctor while you sleep to see what all is going on while you sleep.
This study will help them diagnose you with whatever disorder you may have, if you have one, such as sleep apnea (most common that people get tested for), narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and even behaviors that you may do during the night such as sleepwalking.
Of course, sleep studies can’t be done during normal office hours so it has to be set up in an office/sleep center the doctor suggests or it can be done as a home sleep study (more on that later).
Before the sleep test begins in a sleep center setting, they will ask you to arrive usually a couple to a few hours before your normal bedtime.
You can bring personal items such as pillows, pajamas, or whatever. They will then place sensors in on you in different places including your head and body, but no worries they usually make sure you are comfortable so that you can sleep however you want.
And just to be clear for you needle worriers, there are no needles involved. These sensors are stuck to your skin and will monitor your sleep stage cycles to discover any disruptions.
It also measures your eye movements, oxygen levels, breathing and heart rates, snoring, and body movements.
If you are worried about sleeping at a weird location and you do not think you will sleep well, this is not a big concern.
Your doctor will not even need a full nights sleep of data. Usually just a few hours will do.
After your night of slumber, the technologist will usually crunch the data then get it back to your doctor for evaluation.
This can take up to a week or two and you usually will get the call within that time to reschedule and find out what is going on with your sleeping problems.
At Home Sleep Study
Some doctors may give you the option to have a “at home sleep study” for even more convenience.
Lets be real, we all like our own homes and bed, and anything we can do to stay there makes it even better.
Yet, if you truly want it done right without the responsibility being on you, it may be best to go the route mentioned above so that you know everything is done right.
Anyhow, on the day you decide to do your test, it needs to be a normal routine day. Do not be drinking any caffeine after lunch and avoid napping.
You may have to go to the doctor’s office to get your equipment for the sleep test or they may mail it to you.
A member or your doctor will be in contact with you to tell you how to use the equipment etc.
You will then go to bed at your normal time and attach all the sensors as directed, on your own, before doing so.
You will then either turn the equipment on and/or be asked to keep a sleep log. The next morning you will take everything off and return it to your doctor or the sleep center by the method they tell you.
That is pretty much all there is to it. They will get back in contact with you and let you know the results or if they didn’t get enough results or the test didn’t go well, they may ask you to come in to do a sleep study within their setting like first discussed.
How Much Does A Sleep Study Cost?
With everything comes time and usually with time comes money.
Sleep study costs can vary of course, but we can give you a good range of where you will stand on “bill day”.
First, the costs are widely different depending on the kind of sleep study you decide to go with (at home sleep study or within a sleep center/office).
Being the “in office” was the first one we discussed lets get to it.
In Office – An all night stay in an office setting is more costly. It is between $3000 to $5000 dollars WITHOUT insurance.
With insurance this will be a LOT less as most insurance companies DO accept a sleep study as being covered.
The reasons for this route being more costly is probably self explanatory.
Anyway, when you have people staying up all night to watch and monitor your sleep, it definitely is going to cost more compared to them NOT being there.
At Home – A home sleep study, as you have probably already figured out, is much less expensive, USUALLY. I say usually because depending on your insurance.
Your insurance may cover more on one or the other or may not cover a home sleep study at all. Anyway, WITHOUT insurance an at home sleep study costs between $1000-$2000.
This method of course is capable of not giving back results as good as the in-office method and sometimes you may have to go do the in-office study even after doing the at home study.
Yet, 75% of the time it works just fine.
If you are given the choice between the two, again, this all relies on you (what does your insurance cover? What does your doctor suggest? etc.).
I hope I have helped fulfill the concerns in your sleep study questioning efforts. If you are worried, a sleep apnea test or sleep study is no big deal at all.
If your doctor suggested it, again no big deal.The important thing is making sure you get it done.
Getting good sleep is a very serious thing and not something you should blow off lightly.
Not getting good rest can shorten your life in so many ways (too many to mention here, but anything that messes with brain function and your heart leads to many things).