There are two simple ways to do a sleep apnea self-evaluation in the comfort of your home. Today, we will explain the STOP test and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Before we continue with the details of the home sleep apnea test, we’d like to remind you that the Apnea Link test can only be prescribed by a physician or a nurse practitioner. Talk to your physician about Pacific Sleep’s Accredited Home Sleep Apnea Testing program.
You can visit our sleep centre in any of our locations in Nanaimo, Campbell River, Duncan, and Courtenay. We can help you in the diagnosis of your Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Then once you’re diagnosed, our team will work closely with your physician to provide you with the supplies you need for sleep apnea treatment, like the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine or Oral Appliance therapy.
The STOP Test
The STOP test is a self-administered tool that includes four key questions that could reveal your risk level of developing obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. It was first administered to thousands of patients, and the results showed that these questions could initially screen OSA patients. Since then, this sleep study has been used widely as a reference for a quick sleep apnea test at home.
Do you snore loudly (louder than talking or loud enough to be heard through a closed door)?
Snoring happens when your airways become too narrow while you’re asleep. As a result, the air can’t move freely, causing the surrounding tissues to vibrate and create rattling sounds. It’s OK to snore once in a while. But if you snore loudly and too often, that could be a symptom of sleep apnea.
Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or sleepy during the day?
If you feel tired although you have enough sleep (approximately 8 hours a night), it is one of the signs that you have severe sleep apnea.
Has anyone observed you stop breathing during your sleep?
If you sleep alone in a room, you can use a tool called ApneaLink Air to help monitor your breathing.
Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
When you have sleep apnea, your body endures sudden drops in blood oxygen levels during sleep. That can increase blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system. So if you’re being treated for hypertension, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing sleep apnea, too.
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may have a high probability of having moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
There are three types of Sleep Disordered Breathing; Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, Complex Sleep Apnea. Talk to your physician and see if you are a candidate for a Home Sleep Apnea Test or whether you need to see a sleep specialist after taking the STOP sleep evaluation.
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS)
This self-administered test was created by Murray Johns from the Epworth Sleep Centre in Victoria, Australia. This test consists of eight retrospective questions about various activities and situations.
Then, you will be asked to range your drowsiness into four levels:
0 = Never doze
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing
Studies suggest that this simple test could measure the severity of daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is one of the few conditions that can cause excessive daytime sleepiness. Because of that undeniable link, ESS has been used as a quick self-test for sleep apnea. You can find the ESS test on our Sleep Apnea Evaluation Form page.
If you have any questions or concerns about your sleep quality, you can learn more about it on our website or leave us a message via our contact page.