Henry Has Trouble Sleeping

Henry Thompson works 10 hours a day and gets 6 hours of sleep each night. He would like to reverse that and work 6 hours and sleep 10. But he is providing for his three children and wife. The oldest child is graduating high school next month and hoping to get admitted to college. 

Henry has high blood pressure and he snores loudly all night long. He suspects he has sleep apnea and he is beginning to worry about it. His friend Tony told him about the sleep clinic in the hospital. Tony explained the routine-  Finding time to get to a sleep center to meet with a doctor for evaluation, schedule a sleep study, take a night out of the house to sleep in the lab, then meet again with the doctor to discuss prognosis and treatment options . The hospital is a 1 1/2 hour drive for Henry. Henry felt that he just could not take off work that much, even for something as important as his health.

Home Sleep Tests

And then he heard about “home sleep tests” that could be ordered by dentists.  He found a dentist, near his home, who had been trained in dental sleep medicine by  Sleep Group Solutions. He made an appointment with that dentist, had an overnight sleep test in the comfort of his own bed, was treated by that dentist, and Henry’s story had a happy ending. Henry slept happily and healthy ever after.

Home Sleep Test

Home sleep studies, like those offered by InterpStudies, a division of Sleep Group Solutions, sends a report by a board certified Sleep Medicine Physician within five business days to a sleep trained dentist.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “These tests usually involve measuring your heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns. If you have sleep apnea, the test results will show drops in your oxygen level during apneas and subsequent rises with awakenings.”  The information the HST collects may also include snoring sounds and head and neck movements. 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) approves the use of home sleep tests, and Sleep Group Solutions recommends them..   The following criteria must be met:

  • You are between 18 and 65 years of age.
  • You have a high risk of moderate-to-severe sleep apnea. 
  • You have no other major medical problems.
  • You have no other sleep disorders.

You also may be eligible for a home sleep test if health or safety concerns prevent you from being able to leave home for a night. A home sleep test also may be used to evaluate your response to some sleep apnea treatments, including oral appliances, surgery, and weight loss.

But what if the nearest sleep center is hours away or booked up for months? Or what if a disability, or dependents, or a job makes a night in a lab too difficult? In cases such as these, a sleep dentist might prescribe a home-testing kit.  

USA TODAY Reports:

 Home sleep studies uses a less-expensive test that’s gaining ground across the nation, thanks largely to a push by insurance companies and mounting evidence of its effectiveness.

“You get to sleep in your own bed with your own pillow,” said Dr. Laddie Tackett, medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. “It makes testing more accessible. It makes it more affordable. It makes it more convenient.”  They are less than half the price — up to $400 for a home test, compared with as much as $1,300 in a hospital. 

The advantages of a Home Sleep Study are many: 

comfort, convenience, time, travel, and cost.