How Long Does a Sleep Study Results Take?

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sleep apnea test results don't have to take long

To diagnose sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea the traditional sleep studies are conducted in the lab overnight. These in-lab test results can take up to 2 weeks to interpret. But now home sleep apnea tests are becoming popular as they give faster results accurately.

How Long Does a Sleep Study Take?

Two types of sleep apnea study tests are polysomnography and home sleep apnea test (HSAT). Polysomnography is an in-lab test that takes one night of about 8 to 9 hours of preparation and testing. The doctors there can ask the patients to come for the test for 1 or 2-3 nights for additional information that they may need. The home sleep study is more comfortable and does not take time for any preparation. The patient will just have to attach the WatchPAT ONE E device to their finger and wrist before they go for a night’s sleep. Polysomnography results take about 2 to 3 months because they test severe conditions which takes time to prepare. A home sleep study takes significantly less time than an in-lab test. The results will be interpreted and discussed by a sleep expert to see whether the patients need CPAP therapy.

The Home Sleep Test Process

Most home sleep apnea tests involve a device worn across the chest, a pulse oximeter on the finger, and a few chest sensors. While it is certainly easier to fall asleep at home than in a lab with a technician watching, these devices can still feel invasive and uncomfortable. Then, of course, you still have to mail the device back to the testing center after use for the results to be reviewed. Sleep Care Online, on the other hand, works differently. Here’s how it works:

  1. With the Complete Care Package, schedule a 10-minute telehealth visit with a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms, upcoming sleep study, test results, and treatment options.
  2. A disposable home sleep apnea test is mailed to your home to be completed at your convenience.
  3. A physician analyzes the sleep data and provides a prescription if needed.
  4. Schedule an optional follow-up appointment (additional fee applies).
  5. We connect you to sleep experts who can offer customized sleep therapy options, assistance in equipment purchase, and initial set-up.

What Does a Sleep Study Show?

The WatchPAT ONE E home sleep apnea test provides valuable insight into your sleep to help determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea. This disposable device is secured to your finger via probe, chest using the included adhesive strips, and wrist with a bracelet. It measures up to 7 different factors:  PAT signal (peripheral arterial tone), heart rate, oximetry (blood oxygen level), actigraphy (gross motor activity), body position, snoring, and chest motion. All collected data is transmitted via the cloud and study results are available the following morning.

What Happens After a Sleep Study?

If a diagnosis of sleep apnea is confirmed, patients will receive a script for CPAP therapy. CPAP is considered the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment and works by sending pressurized air into a patient’s airway to keep it open throughout the night.

With Sleep Care Online, patients will be connected to sleep experts to not only help with the equipment purchasing process but also the equipment setup. These sleep experts will provide assistance and troubleshooting to help patients initiate therapy.

If you have questions about home sleep tests or want to ensure you get your results fast, visit us at Sleep Care Online. Our knowledgeable customer care team is standing by to help you take the first step toward better sleep. Give us a call at 866-465-4478 or email

Order a Home Sleep Test Today!


  1. Sleep Education. In-lab sleep study – Testing Process & Results. Accessed January 2020.


4 thoughts on “How Long Does a Sleep Study Results Take?

  1. James Gardner

    I have sleep apnea.
    I have a CPAP machine.
    I get excellent rest with the machine, If I fall asleep without putting on mask I get insufficient sleep.
    I would like to take your “Home Sleep Test”…. so I can get a prescription for a new machine, I’m concerned my current machine will stop working.
    I have my own machine, can I use my machine in the test?


    • Carly Molinaro

      Hi James, to get tested with Sleep Care Online, you will only have to use a tiny device taped to your finger to help record your sleep. This will be able to tell if you qualify for a prescription for a new CPAP machine. You’ll be able to schedule a telehealth visit with a sleep expert to review your study results and discuss the next steps. Please give us a call at 866.465.4478 for more information.


    • Carly Molinaro

      Hi Cindy, if you took your sleep test using Sleep Care Online’s Complete Care package, the data will be transmitted via the cloud and your results will be ready in minutes. The Sleep Care Online team will review the data and interpret the sleep study within 24 hours. You will be asked to schedule a one-on-one telehealth consultation with the physician to discuss your results and potential treatment options. If sleep apnea is diagnosed, a prescription will be provided. Sleep experts from The CPAP Shop will follow up to offer customized product recommendations. Please call us at 866.465.4478 if you have any additional questions.


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