Home Sleep Apnea Tests: Singular Sleep's 6 Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Setting Up and Using Your Home Sleep Study Kit
So you asked all of your questions before ordering your home sleep apnea test, and now it's arrived. But now you have a slew of new questions that you hadn't even thought of before! Below are the questions we most frequently hear after patients receive their home sleep tests in the mail, about how to set up and use their tests.
1. How many nights do I have to use the test, and how long do I get to keep it?
As long as you set up the test correctly and get at least 2-4 hours of sleep in total during the night, one night of use will be sufficient for our sleep physician to interpret the results. Even if you have to get up during the night for some reason, this should not affect your results – again, as long as the total amount of time you spend sleeping adds up to 2-4 hours. Just do not press the user button to end the test when you get up; let it run continuously. Although you only need to use the test for one night, we allow you to keep it for a maximum of two nights for your convenience.
2. I’ve been really busy and haven’t had time to use the test. Can I keep it for a few extra days?
Unfortunately, you may not keep the test for more than 2 nights without incurring late fees. After 2 nights, we begin charging a daily late fee of $15. After 7 days of late fees, you will be charged for the full value of the testing device ($2,999) minus the late fees already paid. We have this policy for two reasons: one, we usually have a waiting list of patients who are desperate to use the test so that they can get their sleep disorder diagnosed. Two, it is necessary for us to be aware of the whereabouts of these expensive devices at all times.
3. How do I know whether I’ve set the Philips Alice NightOne test up correctly before I go to sleep?
The Philips Alice NightOne home sleep apnea test is very easy to use, and only contains 3 components: an elastic chest belt that connects to the small recording device itself, a sensor that goes on your finger, called a pulse oximeter, to measure blood oxygen levels, and a lightweight nasal cannula. To prepare the test, connect the disposable nasal cannula to the top of the device, place the pulse oximeter on your finger, and clip both ends of the blue elastic belt to the white recording device. There are 3 sensor lights on the top of the device (one for each component) that should all glow green to indicate that the sensors are all connected and working. After a minute or so, all three lights should disappear, and you may go to sleep. Here is a patient setup video to illustrate the process:
4. I’m afraid the test didn’t record, or that I did something wrong. How do I know whether it got good data? If I do the study a second night, will that erase the data from the second night?
When you wake up in the morning after using the test, press and hold the user button (the round white button on the front of the recording device)until the "Good Study Indicator" flashes to end the test. Then, to check the quality of the data, wait for one minute, then press and release the user button quickly. This will display the Good Study Indicator, which is a group of 4 wedge-shaped lights that will all glow green if you have collected enough data. If your study did not collect sufficient data (whether in duration or quality), the Good Study Indicator will display 1, 2, or 3 of the wedge-shaped lights, depending on how much viable data was recorded. If all 4 lights are displayed, you can feel confident that you recorded good data.
Patients are sometimes nervous about collecting enough good-quality data, but the truth is that almost every single time we receive a test back, there is more than enough good data for interpretation. The chances are, as long as all of the components are still properly connected when you wake up in the morning (i.e. the belt hasn’t become unclipped or the pulse oximeter didn’t fall off your finger), and you got a sufficient amount of sleep (2-4 hours), it is very likely that your data will be just fine. To check whether all 3 of the sensors are properly connected and working, you can see their status at any time during the study by quickly pressing and releasing the User Button; this will display the same 3 sensor lights that you saw when you first set up the test (one for the chest belt, one for the pulse oximeter, and one for the nasal cannula). If all 3 are glowing green, then you can be sure that they are all connected properly. If one of the sensors is loose or disconnected, its status light will flash yellow to let you know you need to adjust or reconnect it.
If you are really concerned about it, or if your Good Study Indicator displayed fewer than 4 lights, and you have only had the test for one night, you may feel free to conduct a second night with the test. There is no need to change the batteries for the second night's test. There is no way you can record over the previous night’s data, or “mess it up” in any other way. When we receive the device and upload the data into our system, we will see that the test was used for multiple nights and the duration of each use. If there are two nights of viable data, the standard medical practice is to use the second night’s data for interpretation, especially since the patient may have slept more normally on the second night, being somewhat more accustomed to sleeping while wearing the test.
5. How do I get the test back to you? Do I have to take the return box to the post office, or can I just drop it in a mailbox?
When you received the home sleep test in the mail, the outer package contained a smaller box inside, in which the test was packed. This smaller box is the prepaid, pre-labeled return box. After you have used the test, just place it back into the return box along with the instructions, seal it, and send it back to us. You don’t have to place a label, address, or postage on the return box; we have already done that for you.
You do not have to take the return box to the post office. It is lightweight enough that it can be dropped off in a mailbox to be sent back. Either method is acceptable, but we strongly discourage you from mailing the return box from a communal or non-secure mailing location - remember, you are responsible for the test until it is officially entered into the mail circulation.
6. How long will it be before I get my results, and how will they be given to me?
From the time you place the return box in the mail, it should reach us in 3 business days. Once we receive it, we can usually have your results ready for you within 24-48 hours. When the results report is ready, our staff will send you an e-mail containing a secure link to the report, which can be printed, saved, or downloaded.