Home Sleep Testing: Pros and Cons
What is a sleep test?
For the millions of Americans that suffer from sleep related disorders, getting relief usually began with an overnight sleep study to diagnose and identify the presence and severity of sleep apnea. Historically, this has meant the patient will travel to a sleep laboratory where a trained sleep technologist will administer the study (called polysomnography) by placing a variety of sensors on the head, face and body while the technologist monitors their vitals and observes on a video camera from a control room.
EverSleep developers have utilized micro-technology and the science of sleep to introduce home sleep testing as another viable alternative to millions of tired people. Some individuals are not able, or simply will not go to a sleep center for an in-lab test. EverSleep home sleep improvement system is a convenient and comfortable alternative that can be used in the privacy of your own home. However, EverSleep is not a FDA cleared medical device and does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always talk to your physician before starting a sleep improvement program or any other health program. If you think you have a sleep disorder or other medical illness, consult your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment.
Pro: Convenience of Home Testing
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of home sleep testing. As mentioned above, an obvious advantage of home sleep testing is the convenience of testing at home. Sleeping in the comfort of one’s own home and bed, and avoiding travel to an unfamiliar location are attractive to many people. And for those who don’t live within close proximity of a sleep lab or have a disability, the convenience of home sleep testing may be their only option.
Pro: Comfort of Home Testing
Comfort is another important advantage of home sleep testing vs. in-lab testing, as the major difference between the two tests is the number of sensors that are affixed to the patient while they sleep. In the lab there are typically around 20 sensors recording everything from body position and breathing, to heart rate and brain activity. These sensors are glued to the scalp, face, chest and other body parts. Home sleep monitors offer a range of tracking features and most use between 2 - 5 sensors. EverSleep has a unique wireless design that utilizes 4 sensors and connects through Bluetooth to your phone. Comfort can make a significant difference in your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. And since sleep quality and duration are important in getting an accurate diagnosis, this can seem like a critical advantage of home sleep testing.
Con: Potential for Error Requiring Technical Support
Home sleep testing is convenient and comfortable but since there is no one monitoring you there is still the chance of your device disconnecting due to bluetooth connectivity problem or the finger sensor falling off overnight. If technical issues persist you may need to contact support directly to troubleshoot your device or mobile settings. In a traditional over-night lab study there would be a trained sleep technologist who, among other responsibilities, is able to recognize when a sensor has come off during the night and replace it while the patients sleeps. EverSleep's unique design allows you to move freely and comfortably while wearing the finger sensor, but if it does fall off during sleep your unit will automatically stop recording and you may not have sufficient data for the night to count as a valid recording. At EverSleep our founders are engineering experts with decades of experience developing FDA approved medical devices. We offer consistent support to help our users troubleshoot any technical issue they may be experiencing, at no extra cost. Additionally, as we improve the software all future updates are available free through your app store.
Beyond Sleep Testing: Advanced Coaching Software
While the advantages and potential disadvantages are universal for home sleep testing, when we look at the coaching aspect it becomes clear that not all home testing devices are created equally. EverSleep is the only sleep wearable that continuously measures oxygen, heart rate, snoring, movement, AND coaches you in the morning. Our advanced sleep coaching app is able to fill the gap between simplistic fitness bracelets and a full hospital-grade sleep lab overnight study. Arguably, the best advantage of owning an EverSleep is that you can use it several times per month then try some of the DIY coaching tips and lifestyle suggestions and track your improvements over time. Some home sleep monitors charge subscription fees or want you to pay each time you want to see your sleep data, with EverSleep you will always have full control over your data.
Pro: Cost Effective Alternative to Traditional Sleep Lab
Finally, there is the concern of cost and insurance coverage of home sleep testing. Most in-lab sleep tests are considerably more costly than home tests. In some cases, after an initial lab study your doctor may need additional overnight stays to complete diagnosis or test treatment options (often with and without CPAP). Should a patient have a high deductible insurance plan, the cost of the in-lab deductible may be higher than the total cost of the home testing procedure. Costs of in-lab tests can vary greatly from region to region, it is important to research all the costs involved with each. Check with your insurance company about reimbursement rates for home sleep testing. EverSleep now offers a 100% Satisfaction 30-day Money Back Guarantee.
Learn more about EverSleep's home sleep improvement system here and take the full app-tour here