Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Do I need a sleep study?

To determine if you need a sleep study, your medical doctor needs to perform a thorough assessment of your presenting sleep-related symptoms and record some simple measurements (eg height, weight, symptoms). If indicated by this assessment, your doctor may request a sleep study to assist in diagnosing up to 88 possible sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorders are Sleep Disordered Breathing, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), and Movement Disorders, such as Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome (PLMS).

How much will it cost?

There is a small out-of-pocket fee. Melbourne patients, please contact us for a quote. Otherwise, pls contact the clinic nearest to you. Home Sleep Studies Australia uses the latest Level 2 portable sleep technology which qualifies for Medicare funding.

What do I do on the day?

  • Exercise and shower in the morning – you will not be able to shower after seeing the Sleep Consultant. However, you will be able to continue most activities such as driving, working, walking and house-work.
  • Bring a t-shirt to sleep in.
  • Guys: please shave the v-neck area of your chest: about 5cm high x 10cm wide. Beards are OK.
  • Ladies: please no makeup, dark finger nail polish or dark acrylic nails.
  • Set-up Appointment: Takes about 30 minutes
  • Follow your normal pre-bedtime routine, which may include medications and alcohol.

What happens the morning after?

  • Place all the disposable items (sticky electrodes, nasal airflow cannula, tape) in a rubbish bag.
  • Pack the sleep monitor and wires into the black bag.
  • Return the equipment to the clinic before 10 am. If you are unable to do so, please arrange with the Sleep Consultant for alternative arrangements or a courier to collect the items at your expense.
  • The sleep data will be sent overnight to Home Sleep Studies Australia for reporting by a Sleep Scientist and Sleep Physician. If the data is not of sufficient quality, you will be notified within 48 hours and a repeat study will be offered at no extra cost.
  • Book in to see the doctor after 14 days. Your doctor will review the results of the Home Sleep Study with you and discuss treatment options if required.

Can my GP request the sleep study directly?

YES.
Please click here for a request form for the GP to sign.

What is the waiting time to have a sleep study?

Usually 1 to 2 weeks but within days if urgent. Results are available the next day. Treatment with CPAP is available immediately for obvious cases of obstructive sleep apnoea, especially with significant symptoms such as falling asleep driving.

Can it be done in my home?

YES.
We come to your home in the evening, any night of the week between 8 and 10pm. Takes 30mins to put the mobile-phone size sleep monitor over your t-shirt and go through a quality check to make sure everything is working. We just need access to a kitchen benchtop – no need to go into your bedroom.

Does it include audio-video?

YES (optional only by special request).
A special IR night-vision camera is available for sleep-walking or suspected REM Movement Behaviour Disorder, which can cause someone to act out their dreams and be violent to their partner. However, we usually focus on diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnoea first which can be trigger to these episodes.

Does it include leg movements?

YES (optional only).
Leg movements are important for the diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome, especially in the absence of obvious obstructive sleep apnoea symptoms such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. About 25% of insomnia can be caused by a physical problem such as obstructive sleep apnoea or periodic leg movement syndrome.

Does it include jaw movement?

YES.Did you know 95% of people grind or clench their teeth at some point in their lives? Has your dentist noticed any cracks in your teeth or excessive wear? Home Sleep Studies Australia specialises in diagnosing bruxism or teeth grinding.

Do I need a sleep study?

Valid reasons and indications for a sleep study may include any of the following:

  • Snoring which disturbs your bed-partner (or neighbours!)
  • Always tired
  • Falling asleep whilst driving
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Going to the bathroom during the night
  • Waking up tired
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • High blood pressure (or on medication)
  • Depressed (or on medication such as Zoloft)
  • Sexual dysfunction (or on medication such as Viagra)
  • Thick, short neck (>42cms in men, >38cms in women)
  • High BMI (>30kg/m2)
  • Narrow airways – about 10% of people with sleep apnoea are “skinny”

If you have any of the above symptoms or indications, you may have a sleep disorder which can be treated by your doctor or some Sleep Dentists. The first step is e-mail us for a request form, which needs to be completed in consultation with your doctor.

What will a sleep study tell me?

The most important result is a measure of your sleep disturbance. The cause of most sleep disturbances is identified by measuring breathing, leg and jaw movements.

Sleep disturbance is reported as the Arousal Index, which is the number of times you wake up per hour of sleep. Most of these awakenings are too short to remember (only 3 to 10 seconds in duration – you usually only remember being awake if it lasts more than 5 minutes) and it is normal to wake up to 5 times per hour. Waking 5 to 15 times is considered mild disruption, while waking more than 15 times per hour definitely indicates a sleeping problem that requires urgent intervening treatment. the sleep study also reports how many times you stop breathing or have reduced breathing per hour (Apnea Hypopnoea Index AHI or Respiratory Disturbance Index RDI) and how many times your legs twitch per hour (periodic Limb Movement Index PLMI).

What treatments are available?

Depends on the diagnosis. Most people have a combination of up to 88 different sleep disorders as defined by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) Manual. That is why a full sleep study is so important.

For example:

– if the sleep study shows only mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea and your partner wants some relief from your snoring, then a mandibular advancement splint is your best option. These need to be fitted by a specially trained dentist and made from a dental impression.

– if the sleep study shows moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea and you suffer from significant symptoms such as tiredness, headaches or high blood pressure, you should start using CPAP immediately.

– if you are diagnosed with Periodic Limb Movements Syndrome (PLM Index > 5) or Restless Leg Syndrome, the doctor may prescribe central nervous system depressants, stress the importance of avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine, check for iron deficiency and sleep as cool as possible. Simple treatments include relaxation in the hours prior to sleep and high doses of magnesium supplementation.

Home Sleep Study Benefits

Compared to in-patient hospital sleep studies:

Benefits to patients

  • Independent diagnosis
  • Independent assessment of treatment
  • Sleep study in the comfort of your own home
  • No hospital bed fees
  • Freedom of movement
    • Move around and resume most daily activities while wired up
    • Go to the bathroom at any time during the night without assistance
    • Roll over in bed easily
  • FAST! Results are available the next day. Full doctors report within one week.
  • Treatment can start the next day.
  • No private health cover required
  • No GP referral required (this is provided as part of the service)Sleep study reported by experienced Sleep Scientists and Sleep Physicians

Benefits to GPs, ENT surgeons and other medical doctors

  • Direct request for a sleep study
  • Fast turnaround time – sleep study reported by a Sleep Scientist and Sleep Physician usually within 5 working days
  • No capital outlay required for equipment – the sleep monitoring system is on permanent loan (as long as it is used frequently)
  • Staff training provided and assistance in finding staff if required

Benefits to Sleep Physicians

  • See patients who are more educated and have already tried simple treatments
  • Propose a treatment plan at the first consultation with the benefit of facts from a full diagnostic PSG sleep study report
  • Provide a more efficient, lower cost sleep diagnostic and treatment service to a greater number of patients

Benefits to Private Health Funds, Hospitals and Governments

  • Frees up bed spaces
  • Less than half total cost of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders
  • Early detection and treatment minimizes chances of patient’s developing more costly health complications from high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease and motor vehicle accidents.