What does this sleep study report tell me?

The most important thing the sleep study report tells you is the quality of your sleep. That is, how many times per hr that you woke up. It is measured from your brain waves (EEG) and body movements. The sleep study report also tells you how many of those disruptions are caused by breathing problems or leg movements (optional).

How does it compare to a FitBit device?

Devices that only measure movement, such as a FitBit, are a great tool for screening for a sleep disorder, but they do not measure brain waves and breathing patterns. Hence, they are unable to report sleep stages with any degree of accuracy and unable to report on the cause of sleep disruption.

Why does it take so long to get my results?

Home Sleep usually provides a full sleep study report within 2 weeks. The 1000 pages of sleep study data is analysed manually by two people. First, by a sleep technician who scores the sleep stages and respiratory events. Second, by a sleep physician who then reviews the scoring and interprets the data with a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

What does the Arousal Index (AI) mean?

This is how many times you woke during each hour of your sleep. You will only remember waking if you are awake for at least 5 minutes – these arousals are typically only 5 to 10 seconds. Too short to remember, but enough to make you tired the next day.

What is the Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)?

This is how many times per hour that you woke from shallow breathing (10 to 30% drop in airflow) or no breathing.

What is the Apnea Hypopnoea Index (AHI)?

This is how many times per hour that you woke from shallow breathing (at least a 30% drop in airflow) or no breathing.

What is the difference between the RDI and AHI?

The RDI measures any significant drop in airflow whereas the AHI requires at least a 30% drop in airflow. The RDI is the most accurate indicator of obstructed breathing and is used by most sleep physicians to diagnose the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. The AHI is still reported because many research papers are based on the AHI and the ratio of the RDI to AHI is a useful indicator of the depth of sleep apn

Is the home sleep study just as good as a hospital sleep study?

Yes, we measure the same things. The only difference is that if something falls off, there is no-one there watching to put it back on.

Some signals were lost or of poor quality – should the sleep study be repeated?

No. We will only report a sleep study if we are highly confident of the results. If not, we will request a repeat study.

Why are the results of the home sleep study report different from the hospital sleep study report?

The RDI is often higher in the home sleep study report compared to a hospital sleep study report. The main reason is that most people sleep better in their own bed at home. The better someone sleeps, the worse the sleep apnea result will be due to the muscles in the throat being more relaxed, enabling the throat to collapse more easily. The second reason is that hospitals are also biased towards diagnosing and treating more severe sleep apnea cases with many co-morbidities such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension and depression. They rely more on the conservative AHI result and often ignore the RDI. The third reason is that the AHI respiratory events are more easily scored and hence more consistently scored between technicians. The RDI requires better quality signals and a more experienced sleep technician to score these events confidently. Home Sleep is very proud to specialise in the accurate reporting of both the RDI and AHI.

What is the severity of sleep apnea based on?

The diagnosis of sleep apnea is based on the frequency and depth of respiratory events. The frequency is easily measured by the RDI, whereas the depth can be indicated by several variables such as the lowest oxygen saturation level, the time oxygen saturation was spent under 90%, the longest apnea, the average apnea duration and the ratio of the RDI to AHI.

Why does the sleep physician recommend CPAP?

From a medical point of view, CPAP is the only treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, especially with other health problems such as heart disease. It is the only 100% treatment option with no side effects. However, only about half of people who try CPAP can tolerate it. The more tired someone is and the more severe the diagnosis of sleep apnea is, the greater the chance of CPAP compliance because the benefits can be huge and often felt after only one night using CPAP. Other treatments, such as a dental device, are usually better suited to those with less severe sleep apnea (eg >90% SaO2), who are not as tired and who have jaw pain issues that need treating with a dental device.

Our Partners

We work with several medical specialists, general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists and sleep clinics across Australia and help them deliver Level 2 sleep studies through resourcing. To organise a sleep study through our partner clinics or if you want to become a partner contact us now.