Do I Need a Sleep Study?

If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, the first step is diagnosis.

A sleep test, whether conducted in your own home or in a sleep center, is the only way to properly diagnose or rule out a sleep disorder, and must be ordered by your physician.

There are two different kinds of sleep studies: diagnostic and titration studies.

The diagnostic study will diagnose or rule out a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. After having this study, your doctor can tell you, “Yes, you have sleep apnea,” or “No, you don’t have sleep apnea. Let’s look for other causes of your symptoms.”

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You can have a diagnostic sleep study in your own home (called a home sleep test, or HST) or in a sleep center.

You may choose one type of test over the other based on the type of sleep disorder you are suspecting, if you have other serious medical conditions and your insurance coverage.
In-center polysomnography (PSG) records your brain waves, heartbeat and breathing as you sleep in a sleep center.

It also charts your eye movements, limb movements and oxygen in your blood. PSG is also referred to as a diagnostic study, attended PSG, or fully attended overnight sleep study. PSG can diagnose or rule out sleep disorders such as obstructive and central sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and more. For more info on in center sleep tests, visit Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc..

HST is a type of diagnostic polysomnography which is self-administered by the patient in his/her home.

It is used to diagnose sleep apnea by recording several channels of information: respiratory effort, pulse, oxygen saturation, nasal flow and snoring. HST is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to in-center sleep testing for many patients if it is highly likely that the patient has moderate to severe sleep apnea, and if the patient has no other significant medical issues such as pulmonary diseases, neuromuscular disease or congestive heart failure. HST cannot be performed on children and cannot diagnose other sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder or narcolepsy. These patients should be tested in a sleep center. For more information on home sleep tests, visit Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.

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If you have sleep apnea, you may require a titration study.

Even if you don’t expect to use PAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea, many insurances will require that you start with PAP therapy before they will cover the expense of any PAP alternatives.

A titration can be completed the same night as your diagnostic study if you’re testing in a sleep center. This type of combo-study is called a split night or 50/50 study. A split night begins with diagnostic polysomnography and switches to PAP therapy titration once the patient shows sufficient apnea events. This test is often ordered when sleep apnea is highly likely and can eliminate the need for a second night sleep study if the titration is successfully completed.

If your diagnostic test was done with a home sleep test (HST), your titration may be completed in a sleep center or in your home. Recently, many patients and insurance companies are opting for in-home titrations after a sleep apnea diagnosis is made using a home sleep test. This is called an auto-PAP titration. If you come into the sleep center for a full-night titration, you will use PAP therapy for the entire night and the technician will adjust the pressure settings to eliminate apneas.

For more information about different types of sleep studies and the sleep disorders they can diagnose, visit us at

Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc. - Julia Guest article provided by:
Julia Steele Rodriguez, Vice President of Marketing and Operations at Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.

At Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc., our mission is to empower sufferers of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, to lead more fulfilling lives by improving their sleep. We believe that by caring for and educating our patients and diagnosing and treating their sleep disorders we can help them achieve better health.

With 20 locations across California, we are the leading provider of in-center and in-home (HST) sleep studies, PAP therapeutic devices, and replacement PAP supplies. We are contracted with more than 300 medical groups and commercial health plans. We partner with independent physicians who are at the forefront of the field of sleep medicine and together we provide high-quality, affordable, result-oriented and patient-centric diagnostic and therapeutic sleep medicine services. We strive to make all our interactions with patients, referring physicians, coworkers, and others courteous, caring and professional and we consider each interaction with our patients as an opportunity to live up to our commitment to the highest standards of patient care.