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CPAP is a machine that forces continuous air through your nose via a mask. When you have sleep apnea, you're actually not breathing, thus, wake up during the night. The CPAP machine keeps the air moving, thus, you don't wake up.

I have _mild_ sleep apnea (you go through tests for diagnosis). With a CPAP machine, I've been able to add a solid hour per night of sleep, from about 6.5 hours to 7 .5-8, with it being continuous. Ergo, I don't make the "midnight trip to pee" with it on. With it off, I snore loudly, and wake up at least 1-2 times during the night.

It's possible that Ajay here actually has worse apnea, and the "9-10" hours from before was actually spent waking up, then trying to get back to sleep. Thus, the "6 hours" is just purely continuous sleep, instead of hours of tossing and turning.

Sleep apnea tests are comfortable take home tests. You basically just wear a couple of sensors for a night. If you're not prone to apnea, don't bother with a CPAP. It's not cheap, and some people can't get used to putting the mask on.

Do you have any recommendation for an at-home test? I've considered doing a lab study, but at-home sounds much better. I didn't realize that was an option.

This is where things get really complicated. The output data of these tests are typically for a specialist to interpret, I'm not aware of "consumer" tests that break down things like "here's here you flipped over to your side" and "this is when you woke up". Specialists can interpret this, and can read past how you might adjust results yourself.

What gets covered by insurance and what doesn't is specific to your situation (what state/country you live in, etc). I just requested it with my primary care physician, who set up the consultation with a sleep center. Because my case isn't considered "problematic", it really helped to have a specialist request the CPAP, because otherwise, I'm pretty sure insurance wouldn't foot the bill. (I might add this is insane, because I'm sure I've added years to my life with the improved sleep. That's healthcare in the US for you.)

My impression is that the kind of tests is up to the sleep specialist to kind of figure out. The take home thing is much cheaper so I think they'll probably go that route first. I do note that they deal with a wide array of problems, like narcolepsy, sleep walking, night terrors, etc., and that's where I think you'll end up in a monitored hotel room.

Your local sleep doctor can evaluate your sleep apnea risk factors and prescribe a take-home test. Should be covered under insurance.

I think you can DIY with a cheap pulse oximeter, but I'm certainly not qualified to say how to interpret the results.

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