Health Advice



Get up-to-date on home monitoring to diagnose sleep apnea

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

No, bu shi, nej. From the U.S. to China and Sweden, when a diagnosis is negative, "no" is understood to mean you're in the clear. But when it comes to an at-home diagnostic test for sleep apnea -- "no" does not always mean "You don't have that potentially life-shortening condition."

A positive result from an at-home sleep monitoring test is reliable: Yes means yes. But a negative result? One huge international study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that when a single night of at-home testing is done (that's standard clinical practice), 23% of the time it misses folks with severe sleep apnea and is able to classify folks with mild or moderate sleep apnea correctly only around half of the time.

The health problems associated with uncontrolled sleep apnea are significant: It's a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, having a stroke or heart attack, and even premature death.

If you have a negative at-home sleep apnea test, and you're still a nighttime snorer, you gasp for breath or you regularly wake up feeling exhausted and lousy (dry mouth and headache, for example), the smart move is to either try the at-home test on three nights (more accurate) or go to a sleep center to be tested. There, you'll get an analysis of your breathing, air flow, snoring, muscle movements and brain activity. Once you're correctly diagnosed, you can determine the type of nighttime apparatus (some are even mask-free) that will help you get peaceful, life-saving sleep.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus


Working it Out Rose is Rose Strange Brew Scary Gary Wumo Poorly Drawn Lines