Home Sleep Test Information

Home Sleep Test Information

Your doctor may order a home sleep test for you in order to properly diagnose sleep issues. If you are scheduled to have your home sleep test (HST) completed at MLA, you will meet with a member of the team to learn about how to use the HST device.

This video may also be helpful as a reminder, before you go to sleep:

Sleep Study Resources and Sleep Disorder Information

Sleep Study Resources and Sleep Disorder Information

Mass Lung & Allergy Sleep Center Update:

Mass Lung and Allergy is currently offering Home Sleep Test device pickups from both our Leominster and Worcester offices! Call us at 774-420-2611, option 5 for more information.

Home Sleep Testing Instructional Video

Sleep Disorders:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem that affects a person’s breathing during sleep. A person with OSA has times during sleep in which air cannot flow normally into the lungs. The block in airflow (obstruction) is usually caused by the collapse of the soft tissues in the back of the throat (upper airway) and tongue during sleep. For more information on OSA click here.


Many people experience difficulty sleeping. Some people have short periods (days to a few weeks) of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (called acute insomnia). Others have this difficulty for a month or longer (called chronic insomnia). About 30% of Americans complain of having insomnia. Insomnia can be very disruptive to a person’s life, so understanding insomnia and what can be done to treat it can be helpful to your quality of life. For more information on insomnia click here.


Narcolepsy is a neurologic problem in which your brain is not able to control your sleep-wake cycle. It can cause you to have sudden and overwhelming sleepiness any time of the day. This can cause you to fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while talking to someone, driving a car, eating, or while at school or work. This can at times put you in danger such as when driving. Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition that never goes away. About 1 in 2,000 people have narcolepsy. It affects men and women equally. Most people with narcolepsy will begin to have symptoms between the ages of 10 and 30 years old. For more information on Narcolepsy click here.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

Tips for a better night’s sleep

Below are some essentials of good sleep habits. Many of these points will seem like common sense. But it is surprising how many of these important points are ignored by many of us.

Your Personal Habits

  • Fix a bedtime and wakening time. Do not allow bedtime and wake time to drift. The body gets used to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleeping habits.
  • Avoid napping during the day. If you do it is no wonder that you will not be able to sleep at night. The late after- noon for most people is a “sleepy time.” Many people will take a nap at that time. This is generally not a bad thing to do, provided you limit the nap to 30-45 minutes and can sleep well at night.
  • Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.
  • Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
  • Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. These can affect your ability to stay asleep.
  • Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bed- time, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.

Your Sleep Environment

  • Always use comfortable bedding.
  • Find a comfortable temperature and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep.
  • Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
  • Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, work-room or recreation room.

Getting Ready for Bed

  • Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep.
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.
  • Don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed.
  • Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.

Other Factors

  • Several physical factors are known to upset sleep. These include arthritis, acid reflux, menstruation, headaches and hot flashes
  • Psychological and mental health problems like depression, anxiety and stress are often associated with sleeping difficulty
  • Many medications can cause sleeplessness
  • To help overall improvement in sleep patterns, your doctor may prescribe sleep medications for short-term relief
  • Always follow the advice of your physician and other healthcare professionals.

A Word About Television

Many people fall asleep with the television on in their room. Watching television before bed-time is often a bad idea. Television is a very engaging medium that tends to keep people up. We generally recommend that the television not be in the bed- room. At the appropriate bed- time, the TV should be turned off and the patient should go to bed. Some people find that the radio helps them go to sleep. Since radio is a less engaging medium than TV, this is probably a good idea.