Home Sleep Testing for Sleep Disorders

  • Jerrold A. Kram
  • Hiroe Hu


Home sleep testing (HST) or portable monitoring (PM) is becoming increasingly common as a method of screening patients for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although home-based protocols for sleep testing have existed since the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was not until very recently that HST has become such a growing and widespread protocol among researchers and clinicians. There are multiple factors underlying this phenomenon. First, an increasing body of literature shows that HST is not inferior to in-lab full polysomnography (PSG) in achieving diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes, at least in the population of moderate-to-severe OSA patients. Second, HST is often a more financially viable option for patients. Third, many major insurance companies have approved the use of HST as a sufficient means to diagnose OSA and prescribe CPAP for the above two reasons. Fourth, the advancement in technology as well as entrepreneurial interest have driven the making of various types of HST devices. Finally, there is a rise in interest of using HST for situations other than for sleep apnea, such as diagnosing and treating insomnia as well as the commercial popularization of measuring sleep quality and quantity for the sake of personal well-being. Given these circumstances in addition to the rising awareness of sleep apnea in the past few decades, HST has shown to be an area of expanding interest and potential growth. However, it is also imperative to keep in mind the limitations of HST. HST is still insufficient to rule out sleep apnea and diagnose other sleep disorders (e.g., narcolepsy), in which cases the patient must be assessed by a full in-lab PSG instead. Furthermore, it is recommended that primary care physicians inexperienced in sleep medicine should consult a sleep specialist when managing their patients through HST and follow-up care. HST is also still limited in its use for pediatrics.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea Sleep Disorder Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patient Sleep Medicine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Center for Sleep DisordersAlamedaUSA

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