Routine or annual sleep studies are not a thing. Your provider must have a clinical question that justifies another sleep study. A repeat sleep study is needed to (i) evaluate for a secondary sleep issue (not just a sleep breathing problem), (ii) change your device setting, (iii) upgrade to a different PAP device or (iv) to ensure a sleep issue is not missed following an initial negative study.

Below are some scenarios I frequently encounter in my practice that warrants a repeat sleep study:

Unable to tolerate CPAP following a home sleep test. Most patients do well on an Auto-CPAP device, but some may be misdiagnosed and require further evaluation in the sleep laboratory. This is especially true if a mask change or device setting adjustment despite adequate use have not helped patient sleep through the night with CPAP.

Recurrence of symptoms that led to the initial sleep study such as snoring (even on CPAP), waking up tired, or sleepiness despite using CPAP are a few indications for a repeat study. Weight gain of more than 10% from initial weight when sleep tested may lead to recurrence of symptoms.

Unresolved sleep symptoms despite adequate therapy with CPAP should prompt an in-laboratory sleep study. A home sleep study is a great tool if obstructive sleep apnea is suspected, however, it is not able to detect many other sleep-related issues that is best studied in a laboratory setting.

Prior negative sleep study may have simply missed the sleep apnea diagnosis, referred to as a false negative study. A negative home sleep test with a high suspicion of a sleep disorder should prompt an in-laboratory sleep study or polysomnogram. In addition, a sleep study result that may not have prompted treatment in the past can progress to require treatment.

Cardio-pulmonary disease such as new or worsening heart failure and heart rhythm problems, or difficult to control lung disease may prompt your provider to repeat a sleep study.

Before repeating a sleep study, it is important to ensure:

  • the CPAP settings are appropriate,
  • adequate sleep time on CPAP (more than 7 hours),
  • medications which cause sleepiness or sleeplessness are noted,
  • use of drugs or increase in alcohol intake is explored.

Please feel free to reach out to us for a second opinion or questions. Thank you and I hope you breathe well, sleep soundly.

About the author Dr. Avinesh Bhar our online sleep doctor

Dr. Bhar is fellowship-trained and board-certified in sleep, critical care and pulmonary medicine. He has been in practice for over eight years and established a telemedicine practice founded on personalized and convenient sleep and pulmonary care. At Sliiip, we offer pulmonary and sleep telemedicine that allows you to receive video consultation, diagnosis, and follow up care – from the comfort of anywhere. Our physician, Dr. Bhar, believes that high-quality care only comes from a trustful physician-patient relationship.

To find out more about our services, simply visit our website, or call 478-238-3552.