A Test for Sleep Apnea From Your Own Bedroom

The Ache: At least 2% of women and 4% of men have sleep apnea—and most don't know it, according to scientific literature.

The Claim: You can get tested conveniently at home rather than during a night at a sleep laboratory.

The Verdict: Home testing is fairly accurate for people with moderate-to-severe apnea, but it may miss mild cases, doctors say.

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In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway repeatedly collapses during sleep causing sufferers to stop breathing briefly. It can cause daytime sleepiness and long-term health problems such as increased high blood pressure and stroke, says Sam Fleishman, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a Darien, Ill.-based professional society. Sleep apnea is commonly treated with a "continuous positive airway pressure," or CPAP, machine worn at night to keep the airway open.

Author of the article: 
Laura Johannes
The Wall Street Journal