What is a Home Sleep Study?

Home sleep testing (HST), uses a small, portable device that you wear while you sleep in the comfort of your own home. The device collects information about your breathing patterns while you sleep. HST is used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea which, untreated, is associated with medical problems like diabetes. Without overnight observation by a technologist in a sleep lab, an at-home sleep study is not as comprehensive as an in-lab sleep test and can only diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and the airway collapses during sleep. Air cannot get into the lungs and the level of oxygen in the blood goes down. OSA disrupts the normal, restorative function of sleep.

Keokuk County Hospital and Clinics offer home sleep studies at the request of a provider. Some insurance companies will require a HST before a sleep lab study is authorized. Many find a home sleep study to be convenient and comfortable.

The typical HST records your:

• Nasal and oral airflow rates
• Respiratory effort
• Oxygen levels

Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:

• Choking or gasping during sleep
• Daytime sleepiness or tiredness, even after a full night’s sleep
• Loud or frequent snoring
• Sleeping with your mouth open
• Frequent awakenings
• Awakening due to trouble breathing
• Changes in mood

Risks of untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:

• Poor concentration
• High blood pressure
• Depression
• Car crashes

Do you need HST?  Not everyone should have HST. While HST is used to diagnose OSA, some sleep disorders would be better evaluated in the Keokuk County Hospital and Clinics (KCHC) Sleep Lab located adjacent to the hospital. HST is primarily used to diagnose OSA. Your health care provider will help determine if a HST is right for you.

Where will I get my HST equipment? You will be able to check out HST equipment directly from Keokuk County Hospital and Clinics.

What should I do the day of my HST?

• Keep your regular routine as much as possible
• Don’t nap
• Don’t drink caffeine after lunch
• Speak with your health care provider about whether or not to take your regular medication the day of your HST

How to Setup Your HST Device

There are many different HST devices that have a variety of sensors and equipment. They all measure information related to breathing and  blood oxygen level. They may also measure your heart rate or other information about your body. The HST device collects information while you sleep and stores the data. Ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.

When you check out your equipment from KCHC, you will be given instructions on how to attach the sensors and how to use your HST device. If you have questions when you set-up or prepare to use the equipment, refer to the educational packet you received when you checked out the equipment. You may also call (641) 622-1170. Below is a detailed video that may answer your questions.