Sleep Tests Demystified

If you've been following my yeti lifestyle at all, you've seen the benefits CPAP has had on my quality of life. Maybe some sleep apnea symptoms sound familiar and you're curious if this disorder is impacting your life as well? To be diagnosed with sleep apnea requires taking a sleep test. The process may sound a little overwhelming at first, so that's why I thought I'd clarify the process a bit!

First things first, there are two types of sleep tests that can diagnose sleep apnea. 

Level III Sleep Test

This type of sleep test is most commonly used to diagnose sleep apnea. A level III test uses a portable testing machine, allowing for the testing to be performed in the comfort of your own home. This machine uses several sensors, including a small nasal tube, a chest belt, and a finger sensor. Typically, you will pick up the machine at a sleep clinic and then return it the following morning for result interpretation. I remember being a bit apprehensive when I took mine home, but the yeti sleep specialist had given me crystal clear instructions. This test is used to diagnose moderate, uncomplicated sleep apnea, It is not intended for other sleep disorders.  

Level I Sleep Test 

Also referred to as a Polysomnography (PSG) this is perhaps the most well-known type of sleep test. If you've seen stereotypical photos of a patient hooked up to what looks like a million wires, this is the sleep test they're referring to. For example, I shared this funny cartoon on Facebook only a few weeks ago: 

Image result for level one sleep test cartoon

A level I sleep test involves an overnight stay in a sleep lab. Here, numerous sensors are used to assess sleep staging, air flow, oxygen saturation, electrocardiogram, body position, lead movements and EEG. This extensive testing is conducted when your physician believes your condition is complex or severe enough that a home sleep test cannot adequately assess your condition. You may require a level I sleep test if it is suspected you have severe sleep apnea. 

If you're even the littlest bit concerned about your sleep quality, I'd recommend taking a sleep test. Sleep apnea has serious health consequences, and in most provinces you can receive a sleep test for FREE.  

Hope this info helps!