FAQs About Home Sleep Apnea Testing (HSAT)

Why should I have a Home Sleep Apnea Test?

So you stop feeling so tired, and for better health.

A Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT) is a screening test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and snoring, and is associated with obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

The biggest reason to have your HSAT is simply excessive daytime sleepiness – You feel more tired than you should.  Excessive daytime sleepiness lowers the quality of life, affects relationships, hinders work performance, can cause personality issues such as irritability and lack of focus, and can create dangerous situations such as impaired driving.  You may feel tired all day and nearly every day, and feel like you can’t live your life to the fullest.  Diagnosing and treating a sleep disorder could give you back your energy, alertness, and enthusiasm – It could give you back your real life.

Snoring is another significant symptom.  Snoring can be an issue for the bed partner and can cause discord, relationship issues and separate bedrooms.  It can be embarrassing or make the snorer an object of ridicule.  About 60% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea, and nearly everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea snores. 

Obesity can also be related to sleep disorders.  Sleep disorders can contribute to obesity due to low energy, daytime sleepiness and apathy.  Obesity is a risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Sleep disorders are also related to other significant medical conditions.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.   

The reason to have a sleep study is to find out why you’re sleeping poorly and what treatment options might help, so you can improve your quality of life and your health.

What is a Home Sleep Test?

A Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT) is a screening test designed to diagnose or rule out Obstructive Sleep Apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders.  The HSAT is limited to making this assessment.  Your doctor may prescribe a HSAT if there is a strong suspicion of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  The HSAT device consists of mobile-phone sized unit, a belt worn across the chest, a painless finger cap to measure blood oxygen levels and a cannula to measure breathing.

If an HSAT is negative, the patient may need to return for an In-Center Sleep Study in order to diagnose the actual sleep disorder causing the symptoms the patient experiences.  If an HSAT is positive in diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the patient may need to return for an In-Center Sleep Study in order to get a pressure setting for a CPAP device. 

An In-Center Sleep Study is much more comprehensive than an HSAT and is designed to provide a full picture of your sleep including most sleep disorders.  Your physician may order an In-Center Sleep Study for a number of reasons, including:

  • To more fully understand your sleep patterns.
  • To diagnose or rule out less common sleep disorders such as REM related, positional or treatment emergence sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder or narcolepsy.
  • To establish the pressure settings needed for a CPAP device.
  • A prior HSAT has proven unsuccessful or failed to uncover the cause of the symptoms you experience.
  • Your physician feels that the extra care provided by the technician during an In-Center Sleep Study will result in a more accurate test.
  • The patient is a child or requires extra care. HSATs are not recommended for children under 18.

Your physician will help determine the best approach for you.

How do I schedule a Home Sleep Test?

To get a Home Sleep Apnea Test, like any diagnostic sleep study, you must see your physician and your physician must order the study.  We can’t do any studies without a prescription from your doctor.  Everything we do is based on the order from your doctor. 

It can take 7 to 10 days after you see your doctor before we contact you to schedule your appointment. After you see your doctor, for some types of insurance including PPO, Medicare and Tricare, your doctor will send the prescription and other information directly to us.  We will contact you with a pre-schedule call to get additional information about your insurance coverage and sleep symptoms.  For other insurances, including HMO and Medi-Cal, your doctor will send the prescription to your medical group.  Your medical group will review the information and send an authorization to us.  It may take your medical group 7 to 10 days to send the authorization to us.

Once we have the required information, we will contact you by text, email or phone to begin the scheduling process.  The easiest way to schedule is to follow the link in the text or email and schedule yourself using our online scheduler.  It’s a quick and easy process.   You can also log in to the online scheduler here:  CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE SCHEDULER  You can also call us at (877) 775-3377.

For a Home Sleep Apnea Test, you will come to one of our locations to meet with a technician who will explain how to use the device.  You will take the device home and use it overnight at home.  The next day, or at a scheduled time, you will return the device back to our location.  You will schedule two appointments: The training appointment and the return appointment.  The training appointment takes 30 to 45 minutes and the return appointment takes 5 to 10 minutes.

We have more than 20 locations throughout Southern California.  During scheduling, you will be able to choose a convenient location and a date and time that work for you.  After you’re scheduled, we will send you a confirmation email with all the needed information.  You’ll be scheduled having taken the first steps towards better sleep and better health!

How will I receive the Home Sleep Test device?

For a Home Sleep Apnea Test, you will come to one of our locations to meet with a technician who will explain how to use the device.  You will take the device home and use it overnight at home.  The next day, or at a scheduled time, you will return the device back to our location.  You will schedule two appointments: The training appointment and the return appointment.  The training appointment takes 30 to 45 minutes and the return appointment takes 5 to 10 minutes.

How will I know how to use the device?

The HST device is fairly simple to set up. This video explains how to set up and operate the device.

If you pick up your device at one of our sleep center, the technician will show you how to use the device and answer your questions.

If you have any questions on the night of your home test, you can reach our after-hours patient support line 7 nights a week from 7pm-11pm at (877) 775-3377 ext. 180.

When should I take the home sleep test?

Please use the test on the night you received it. It is very important that you keep your return appointment or ship the device back to us as soon as possible as we may have other patients scheduled to use the testing equipment.

If for any reason you cannot test on the first night, please contact customer service at (877) 775-3377. 

What time should I go to bed?

Stick to your normal bedtime routine so that you can get a full night’s sleep. We will have live technical support available from 7-11PM on the night of your study (call 877-117-3377 ext. 180). If your normal bedtime is outside of this timeframe, you may want to try setting up the device beforehand so that you can call us if you have any questions.

You can turn on the device when you get into bed, even if you don’t fall asleep right away. If you get up in the night, it’s OK to leave the device on until you get back into bed.

When will I get the results of my home sleep test?

The results of your sleep study will  be compiled and interpreted by an ASMS sleep specialist, or forwarded to your own physician for interpretation if that option is chosen, about 10 business days from the completion of your study. Your physician will contact you once  the results are ready.

What happens after my home sleep test?

Depending on the results of your home sleep apnea test, you may require follow up services.

If you test positive for sleep apnea, your physician may recommend an in-center CPAP titration to administer CPAP therapy and find a treating pressure. Alternatively, you may be provided an auto-titrating CPAP device to use at home. This depends upon the recommendations in your sleep study, your physicians referral and your insurance coverage.

Because the home sleep apnea test can only diagnose or rule out sleep apnea, you may require an in-center sleep test if the results from your home test are inconclusive or if you test negative for sleep apnea, but still have symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness. For more information, please speak to your referring physician.