Home Sleep Studies

A sleep study is a test that records various parameters while the child is asleep and is required for diagnosis of many sleep disorders in children. Sleep study can be done either in a sleep laboratory or at home. During a home sleep study the technician brings the equipment at home. The study is done throughout the night with continuous recording.

When do you require a home sleep study?
Children and adults suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) require a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and know the severity. The symptoms suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) snoring on a regular basis with accompanied problems like gasping, snorts, observed episodes of apneas or stoppage of breathing or sleeping in a seated position or with the neck hyperextended. Additional features suggested of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are excessive daytime sleepiness, learning problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

What sensors are put in a home sleep study?
Our trained technicians will attach a few sensors at the child’s bedtime for the home sleep study. These sensors includes two stretchy bands around the chest and tummy to measure the effort of breathing, a nasal cannula to measure the air breathed in and out, soft probe wrapped around your child’s toe or finger for measuring the oxygen levels or SpO2, microphone for recording snoring and a sensor for measuring ECG. These signals are recorded onto the sleep equipment continuously. The next day early morning the study shall be stopped and equipment removed. The data is extracted and home sleep study evaluated and scored for various parameters.

Are home sleep studies accurate?
Home sleep studies are accurate if they are done properly using good quality equipment and scored manually the next day.

In which situation a home sleep study is not appropriate?
Home studies may not be as accurate in children with complex disorders. These groups of children should get a complete in-Lab sleep study. These group of symptoms are children genetic syndromes like Craniofacial syndromes (Apert, Crouzon, Pfeiffer), achondroplasia, Down’s syndrome, Obesity syndromes (eg. Prader Willi), Mucopolysaccharidoses, Pierre Robin sequence etc. Children with neuromusular disorders [spinal muscular atrophy, duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases] with suspected nocturnal hypoventilation and respiratory difficulty should also get an in-Lab sleep study.

What equipment do we use for home sleep studies?
We use a MPR-PG plus equipment from Natus, Canada for performing home sleep studies.

What information do we get on a home sleep study?
The home sleep study gives information on the number of apneas (complete obstruction of breathing) and hypopneas (partial obstruction in breathing). Based on the number of apneas and hypopneas the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) is calculated, which are the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of total sleep time. In children AHI<1 per hour is considered normal, an AHI between 1-5 per hour represents mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 5-10 moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and >10 severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).