Getting a home sleep apnea test is an easy process, and getting your results back is always exciting because it means you’re one step closer to getting the treatment you need to start sleeping better. But we understand that this can also be a confusing time, which is why we want to help you better understand your sleep results and have our patient care representatives cover not only your treatment options but what your results mean for your sleep health.
Our home sleep test will measure several pieces of biometric data that will get examined and interpreted by a certified sleep physician. The results will give you a clear picture of your sleep quality as reflected by factors like blood oxygen saturation, breathing pattern and depth, heart rhythms, snoring, and sleeping positions. Patterns or interruptions in these data are vital to determining your sleep quality and assessing disruptions.
The testing device will also come with a built-in body positioning sensor that will aid our physicians in analyzing other important data like sleep positions through the night, pressure flow, snoring, breathing effort, SpO2, pleth, and pulse rate. All of this information is critical to diagnosing and treating common sleep disorders, like sleep apnea.
Because of all of these different factors, sleep study reports can be confusing and difficult to understand. Here are some easy pieces of advice to help you understand your sleep study results and help you decide which treatment options are best for you.
Sleep efficiency is a term for the number of minutes you spend asleep divided by the total sleep recording period. If you have high sleep efficiency, you are spending more time asleep than you are spending awake.
Apnea Hypopnea Index
Also called AHI, the Apnea Hypopnea Index is the average number of times you experience an apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep. An apnea is a complete obstruction of your airway for more than 10 seconds whereas a hypopnea is only a partial obstruction of the airway. Most people suffer from an average of 0-5 events per hour. An AHI above 5 is considered abnormal and may lead to a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Oxygen Desaturation Index
This represents the number of times your oxygen levels drop during time spent asleep. This measurement is typically used to examine or diagnose sleep disordered breathing. For reference, oxygen levels are generally expected to stay above or around 90%.
This is likely the clearest term of the set, but it is also a vital piece of sleep study data. Your heart rate is frequently measured through a small rubber apparatus that goes over your index finger. Most adults, depending on levels of health, have a resting heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). If you come in over 100 BPM during rest or sleep, it is a condition known as tachycardia, while having a heart rate under 60 BPM is called bradycardia. If you fall into either of these designations, please consult your primary care physician.
If you do an at home sleep study, a patient care representative will take the time to review your results and treatment options with you. Once you’ve had an opportunity to consider your options, don’t waste time getting the treatment you need. Sleep is an important part of your overall health and well-being, so start sleeping better as soon as possible.