If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, you may have tried an in-hospital sleep test to get a diagnosis and, hopefully, relief. But guess what? Doctors have found that people who have trouble sleeping have even more trouble sleeping when they're in a lab connected to tubes and wires. Go figure.

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects sufferers' breathing at night. Sufferers snore and wake up continually throughout the night because they have stopped breathing. The condition hinders sleep and may lead to heart disease and other health problems. It's also very tricky to diagnose as patients often have difficulty falling asleep in a hospital setting long enough for health care providers to obtain any reliable information.

But there is good news — and maybe even a good night's sleep — in sight for sleep apnea sufferers everywhere. There are now several at-home test options that those with sleep apnea can use to diagnose the condition and help doctors develop a treatment plan.

Sleep apnea tests in a hospital lab are the gold standard when it comes to diagnosis. But even though they are not as reliable or accurate, take-home sleep apnea tests are a good option for patients who have a hard time sleeping at all when they are in the hospital. Home sleep testing devices give doctors information about when and how often patients stop breathing. This gives doctors all of the information they need to design a course of treatment.

There are a few options available, and most are covered by insurance and even cost users significantly less than hospital tests. So if you suffer from sleep apnea and think an at-home test might work for you, talk to your health care provider about the available options.

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How to test for sleep apnea at home
Take-home tests offer sleep apnea sufferers a more pleasant alternative to hospital lab studies.