April 3, 2020 – ASA Authors and Reviewers
Untreated sleep apnea can put you at a much higher risk of additional health problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, many people have undiagnosed sleep apnea. The reasons so many people go undiagnosed may vary. But one common factor is not wanting to go to a sleep center for a sleep study.
Now more than ever, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat and slow the spread of the coronavirus. But even without the fear of the infection, there are several reasons why a home sleep study is beneficial.
What is Lunella?
Lunella is an FDA cleared onetime-use sleep device to record and transmit information from an at-home sleep study. Traditional sleep studies measure several factors, such as blood oxygen level, heart rate, and chest motion. Lunella also performs these vital measurements of sleep quality, but with an easy -to-use device.
The first step in performing your home sleep study is to download the WatchPAT™ One app on your phone or tablet. Next, you place the watch-like device around your wrist. Place the probe on your finger, and put the sensor on your sternal notch, which is the depression at the top of the sternum on your chest.
While you sleep the device monitors the following:
- Blood oxygen level
- Heart rate
- Body position
- Snoring intensity
- Chest motion
- Changes in the nervous system due to breathing disturbances while you sleep
After you wake up, the test results are transmitted to a sleep physician, determines your risk of sleep apnea. If it appears you need treatment, you receive a prescription for treatment, such as CPAP. Your health information is secure and protected.
Why do a Home Sleep Study?
A sleep study is needed to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Some people may delay getting properly diagnosed because it’s not convenient to go to a sleep lab.
In some cases, a home test is preferred. There are several advantages of having a sleep study at home instead of going to a sleep center, including the following:
Convenience: Some people don’t live near a sleep center or may have to wait for an appointment for months. Having a sleep study with Lunella gives you accurate results in the convenience of your own home.
Easy: When you go to a sleep center, it is often a lengthy process to get you hooked up and ready for a sleep study. Various probes and sensors need to be attached. After you are hooked up, it can be cumbersome to sleep comfortably. A system such as Lunella, using three points of contact, is easier and more comfortable.
Relaxed atmosphere: Obviously, during a sleep study, you have to sleep for a certain amount of time to get accurate results. For some people, it’s easier to fall asleep in their own bedroom than trying to sleep in a center. If you sleep more soundly, it can provide a better picture of your sleep issues.
Less expensive: A sleep study at a sleep center may vary in cost depending on what part of the country you live. Although some expenses may be covered by insurance, there may be copays involved. At-home sleep tests tend to be less expensive than a test at a sleep center.
Adverse Health Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking gasping for air
If left untreated, sleep apnea can have significant health consequences. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible complications of sleep apnea include the following:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Type II diabetes
Treating sleep apnea can reduce your risk of certain medical conditions and also improve your quality of life. But you can’t get proper treatment without getting an accurate diagnosis. In-person sleep studies at a sleep lab may not be right for everyone. In some cases, an at-home sleep test from Lunella is a great option.
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