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Portable Sleep Monitoring

Portable sleep monitoring has increased in the past decade in the evaluation of patients with breathing-related sleep disorders. Multichannel monitors allow noninvasive measurement of ECG, airflow, respiratory effort, and pulse oximetry.

Sleep monitoring


■ Patients present with severe symptoms and standard polysomnography (PSG) monitoring is not available
■ Patients who cannot be studied in a traditional PSG sleep laboratory
■ Used for follow up following diagnosis by a PSG laboratory


■ No absolute contraindications exist
■ A qualified practitioner is not available for intervention (CPAP) if the study is unattended

Setting Up a Portable Sleep Monitor

1. Obtain required equipment
■ Multichannel sleep monitor
■ Disposable oximeter probe
■ Disposable airflow sensor
■ Disposable ECG leads
■ Cables/interface for monitor probes

2. Connect the monitors to the patient
■ Attach ECG leads between the clavicle and the fourth intercostal space along the midaxillary line (white on right side, black on left side)
■ Secure the respiratory effort band snuggly around the patient’s abdomen
■ Place the oximeter probe on a finger and secure it with tape
■ Place the airflow sensor on the patient’s upper lip with the probes just entering the nares (similar to a nasal cannula)
■ Attach the snore microphone adjacent to the larynx with a self-adhesive disk and reinforce its attachment with bandage tape
■ Connect the cable(s) to the monitor
■ Connect the monitor to an electrical outlet and turn on the monitor


1. No hazards/complications exist for home sleep monitoring
2. Limitations to unattended home monitoring
■ Loss of control over the sleep environment
■ Patients can engage in maladaptive sleep habits
■ Bed partners can disturb the outcome of the study
■ A qualified practitioner is not available to intervene if required
■ Higher rate of data loss due to technical/patient difficulties
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