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HealthInfo Canterbury

Sleep assessment

If your doctor thinks you have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) or another sleep disorder, they may recommend that you have a sleep assessment.

A sleep assessment takes around half an hour. If you qualify, the cost is subsidised by the Canterbury DHB.

Getting a sleep assessment

A sleep assessment involves several tests, including:

The person carrying out the assessment will ask you questions about your sleep, your lifestyle and daily routine, what you normally eat and drink, your job, your family history, and what medications you take. This is to give the assessor a better idea of what might be affecting your sleep, and how badly your sleep is affecting your lifestyle.

You may be asked to complete two questionnaires.

You may be asked to undergo an overnight oximetry test. You'll be given a oximeter to take home and wear while you sleep. On the night of the study, you will need to keep a sleep diary (this also includes instructions for using the oximeter). Return the oximeter and diary to the assessor the next day. The results will be included in the sleep assessment report.

After a sleep assessment

The assessor will send the completed report and documents to the Christchurch Hospital Sleep Unit who will review it. They will send a report back to your GP. This will determine if you have OSA or another sleep disorder, and what type of treatment (if any) should be tried.

You may wish to pay to see a private sleep specialist. Find private sleep clinics on:

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On the next page: Self-care for OSA

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Sleep Unit, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed June 2016. Last updated August 2019.

Page reference: 46185

Review key: HIOSA-12505