ZZZ…ZZZ…ZZZ…Is Your Sleep Tracking Device a Replacement for a Professional Sleep Study?
It is no secret that American’s lack the proper amount of required sleep. With busy schedules, multiple priorities and endless “to do” lists, proper sleep has become secondary. In recent years, sleep tracking devices have become more popular in an attempt to track and determine if one is receiving proper or quality sleep, but are they a replacement for a professional screening for sleep disorder? Experts reporting in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine say no, but the increased interest in the quality of sleep received is a positive trend. If you want an insight into your sleep, they will certainly give you that. But above all, if you do suspect you have serious problems with your sleep, remember to speak to your doctor about it. At the end of the day, they and the sleep specialists they can refer you to are still the most reliable way to find out about your sleep and diagnose any sleep disorders.
“Sleep devices provide patients a general understanding of sleep medicine and concerns, but are not approved, tested or regulated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, said Good Samaritan’s Sleep Apnea Center Director Sam Davidoff, MD. “They require no regulatory approval and have not been fully validated.” Often, tracking and data provided from different technology and devices are not standard and can provide differing results. This could mean incorrect information related to the number of times a patient wakes up overnight and how much deep sleep they received. In addition, they do not often use the latest research and data to validate their results.
“Once perfected, sleep devices and apps could eventually provide results and allow physicians to review patient sleep data remotely. Until then, Good Samaritan has started to offer another option—home sleep tests,” said Dr. Davidoff.
In order to diagnose sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, a patient must undergo a polysomnography (sleep study). This is typically done in a sleep lab, requiring the patient to spend the night, while the equipment records his/her physiological data. However, due to technological advancements, Good Samaritan now provides sleep studies in the comfort of one’s own home.
A home sleep study allows you to sleep at home wearing equipment that collects information about how you breathe during sleep. You will receive education from qualified polysomnography technologist on how to set up the testing equipment on yourself. There are a variety of home sleep apnea testing devices that have different sensors and equipment. These devices measure your breathing and blood oxygen level and other important information about your body.
Home sleep apnea testing is used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. A physician may recommend home sleep apnea testing if:
- It is highly likely that you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
- You have no significant medical conditions other than the suspected obstructive sleep apnea
You should not have a home sleep apnea test if:
- You do not have a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea
- The physician suspects you may have another sleep disorder
- You have certain medical conditions including pulmonary diseases, neuromuscular diseases or congestive heart failure
In these cases, your physician may recommend an in-lab sleep study instead of a home sleep apnea test. An in-lab sleep study provides the most complete evaluation of your sleep. Click here to take a short quiz that can help determine if you may need a sleep test. For more information or a referral to Good Samaritan’s Sleep Apnea Center of Excellence, call (631) 376-4444.