If you or your doctor suspect that you are suffering from a sleep disorder (such as sleep apnea), you may be recommended a sleep study. A sleep study—also called a sleep test—tracks your sleep, breathing, and nighttime habits to properly diagnose any sleep disorders.
There are three different types of sleep studies—a level 3, level 2, and level 1 sleep study. Each level varies in what they monitor and test for, as well as where the test takes place. So, what are these differences, and more importantly, which level of sleep study is right for you? Let’s compare!
LEVEL 3 SLEEP STUDY
When you think of a sleep study, you might picture yourself in a lab, covered in wires, with specialists watching as you try to fall asleep. While that is accurate for some levels of sleep studies, that’s not the case in a level 3 sleep study.
A level 3 sleep study—often referred to as a home sleep apnea test (HSAT)—is done from the comfort of your own home—not at a sleep lab or hospital. With a level 3 sleep study, you use a sleep study kit at home that records your breathing activity, oxygen levels, and heart rate throughout the course of the night. Based on this activity, a level 3 sleep study tests your snoring and airflow and diagnoses if you have obstructive sleep apnea. A level 3 sleep study is the type of sleep study offered at Careica Health.
Who Should Have a Level 3 Sleep Study?
A level 3 sleep study is best suited for those who suspect they suffer from, or who are at risk for sleep apnea only. If you are suffering from poor sleep but are not at risk for sleep apnea, or if you are unsure of the cause of your poor sleep, a level 2 or level 1 sleep study may be preferred.
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LEVEL 2 SLEEP STUDY
A level 2 sleep study (also called Polysomnography) can also be completed from your own home, (but some level 2 sleep studies are offered in a sleep lab or hospital). In addition to monitoring your breathing activity, oxygen levels, and heart rate, a level 2 sleep study monitors brain and muscle activity. This added monitoring means a level 2 sleep study is a more sensitive test and can monitor your leg and body movement, detect periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), and provide a more in-depth analysis on the overall quality and length of your sleep.
Who Should Have a Level 2 Sleep Study?
If you suffer from poor sleep but are not at risk for sleep apnea, or if you are unsure of the cause of your poor sleep, a level 2 sleep study can provide additional information to help uncover the root cause (be it obstructive sleep apnea or otherwise).
LEVEL 1 SLEEP STUDY
Remember that picture we painted of the sleep study in the lab? That’s a level 1 sleep study (Polysomnography). A level 1 sleep study is the same as a level 2, except a level 1 only takes place in a sleep lab and is always observed in real-time by a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT). With the exception of the ability to diagnose REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder, the monitoring and testing capabilities do not vary from a level 2 to a level 1 sleep study.
Who Should Have a Level 1 Sleep Study?
Like a level 2, those who suffer from poor sleep but are not at risk for sleep apnea, and those who are unsure of the cause of their poor sleep are best suited for a level 1 sleep study. If it is suspected that you may suffer from other, more serious sleep-related conditions, your doctor may also recommend a level 1. Those who complete a level 1 sleep study should be comfortable with the idea of sleeping in a lab environment and under the supervision of an RPSGT.
SLEEP STUDY LEVELS COMPARISON CHART
COMPLETE YOUR SLEEP STUDY FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN BED!
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