It starts with a sleep study

An overnight sleep study with The SleepGP is an essential step in understanding fully what is happening during your sleep. From a SleepGP sleep study,  we can tell if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), or not – and if you do, how severe it is. We can also see what your sleeping position is, how loud you snore, any heart abnormalities – and if you have OSA, what type it is.

Not all sleep studies that are available in the market provide all that detail. The various Levels of Sleep Study are set out below. Therefore, you may need advice on the right sleep study for you, and at The SleepGP we are here for you if you want to discuss that.

If you want to get an idea initially whether you could have OSA, you might like to try the self-assessment tool included on this website. Remember it is indicative only, and you should consult your GP, or a SleepGP if in doubt.

Your GP can refer you to a SleepGP if there is one in your area. At your initial consultation with a SleepGP, you will be taken through various types of sleep studies and an appropriate level study will be arranged.

How does it all work? The Sleep GP or their Sleep Care Coordinator / clinical assistant will explain the process on how to hook yourself up to the sleep study machine. Your kit will also include detailed instructions. You will then sleep overnight as normal in your own bed at home, with the machine attached to you. Once you have completed the study, you will simply return the device to our clinic where it will be scored and reported on to determine a diagnosis.

There are three main levels of sleep study – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

Many people are unnecessarily referred for Level 1 sleep studies, also known as in-lab or in- hospital studies, or as CPAP titration. These tests are expensive, and they place the patient in an unnatural environment which in itself can cause disrupted sleep. Level 1 studies often involve long wait times and long delays in getting reported results – and they put a heavy cost on our health care system. In most cases a Level 2 at-home sleep study would have been appropriate.

At SleepGP, our Level 2 sleep studies offer similar physiologic measurements to the studies conducted in hospital laboratories, however, we offer sleep studies in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

People seeking help in many pharmacies, or online with ‘Dr Google’, often receive a Level 3 sleep study, which The SleepGP considers inadequate and inferior compared to a Level 2 sleep study – with the potential risk that apnoeas discovered are incorrectly attributed to Obstructive Sleep Aponea.

A sleep study measures a range of information including:

  • Body oxygen level through the finger with an ‘oximeter’
  • Airflow through the nose
  • Chest and abdomen movements
  • Heart activity also known as electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Brain activity also known as electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Muscle activity also known as electromyogram (EMG)
  • Eye activity also known as electrooculogram (EOG)

Once you have completed your SleepGP sleep study, the data will be sent to our Sleep Technician who will ‘score’ your study and look for any signs of OSA. The results will then be passed onto one of our Sleep Physicians who examine the results, make a final conclusion and suggest possible treatment options in a report back to the SleepGP.

The SleepGP will diagnose and recommend a therapeutic option only where they have full patient information, and an understanding of what’s happening inside your airway. You are unique and deserve to be treated as an individual, so your recommended therapy will be individualised – not a one-size-fits-all solution like many CPAP retailers, CPAP online sales organisations and pharmacies do.