How Much Sleep Study Cost in Australia?


January 9, 2024

Sleep Society is reader-supported, that means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thank you kindly.

Thinking about getting a sleep study done? If you're curious about things like the cost of a sleep study, fees for sleep apnea testing, or what an at-home sleep study might set you back, you're in the right place. We're going to cover all that, including how to do a sleep apnea test at home. Let's dive into the details and break it all down for you.

The cost of sleep studies in Australia can range from $400 to $1000 and higher. Sleep studies can vary significantly in cost depending on the type and location of the study. Medicare usually covers a large percentage of the total cost. 

What is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study, technically called polysomnography, analyses a person's sleeping patterns and behaviours. It is usually conducted on people who have sleeping issues like snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Sleep studies help provide a deeper diagnosis of a person's sleeping issues. A good sleep study can detect problems that go undetected during a visit to the doctor.

What is done in a sleep study?

During a sleep study, a doctor analyses your brain waves through the use of an EGG monitor overnight. A sleep study aims to collect information about your brain and how your body is responding while you are sleeping. By studying this data, doctors will find out what disrupts sleep and what causes it, which may lead to sleep issues.

Sleep studies are typically conducted in a sleep-friendly environment. Therefore, it can be performed either at home or at a sleep clinic. Sensors and electrodes will be attached to your body to send data to a computer. A technologist will supervise the entire process. Afterwards, the technician will relay the analysed information to your doctor. A complete analysis usually takes about two weeks.  

How Much Sleep Study Cost?

Sleep studies start at around 400 dollars. Australian Medicare rebates are available, however. You must have a valid Medicare Card and be referred for a sleep study by your GP or specialist to receive the rebate.

How Much is Sleep Apnea Test?

The sleep apnea test is part of a sleep study, so it costs the same as one.  Therefore, an at-home sleep apnea test will cost less, usually 400 dollars - the same as an at-home sleep study. There are three types of sleep apnea, and each has a different cost:

  • Central sleep apnea
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Mixed sleep apnea

You can test for mixed and central sleep apnea only at a lab or clinic, so they are more expensive. Only an OSA can be tested at home.

How Much Does an At-Home Sleep Study Cost

In Australia, a home sleep study costs about $400, which is eligible for a Medicare rebate. Approximately $295 will be rebated.  In addition, Medicare covers only one at-home sleep study per person each year.

At home sleep tests are less expensive than in-lab tests because it uses fewer machines and facilities. And it is usually used to detect sleep apnea but only OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).

How to Prepare for an At-home Sleep Study?

Even if you are having your sleep monitored at home, you will have to go to the clinic to get adjustments and testing. The doctors and technologists will also check if the devices are fitted and working well. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

  1. Devices cannot be removed once they are on, so wear comfortable clothing. You should wear loose-fitting clothes that can be unzipped or unbuttoned easily. 
  2. Be sure to discuss any medication you should or should not take before the study with your doctor.
  3. Before you visit the clinic, take a shower. Make sure you do not apply lotions or creams to your skin before your sleep study, and stay away from conditioners and hair products. Wearing wigs or weaves is not recommended.
  4.  Maintain your daily routine. Work and eat as you usually would.

What is the Cost of an In-lab Sleep Study?

Choosing a hospital listed by Medibank might save you a lot of money. Medibank outlines an estimated cost of an in-hospital sleep study can amount to $1690. The out-of-pocket costs might be $121, with Medicare rebates included.

In-lab sleep tests are usually inexpensive. Nevertheless, there are other out-of-pocket expenses you need to consider:

  • Charges for specialists like surgeons and anesthetists
  • Diagnostics like tests and imaging.
  • Healthcare assistants.

How to Prepare for an In-lab Sleep Study?

For in-lab sleep studies, you will have an overnight stay at a sleep laboratory. Doctors will fit you on many machines, so that can be a little invasive for some people. The sleep study will also last for 12 hours- your clinic will provide the timings. Here are some guidelines to prepare yourself for an in-lab study:

  1.  Follow your usual routine and work and eat as usual. Take medications as usual unless told differently by your doctor. The clinic/lab may provide dinner but if not, have your dinner before your appointment.
  2. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes that can be unbuttoned or unzipped. Wear cotton garments; polyester is not allowed. You can take a pillow if you like.
  3. Carry all your insurance documentation and documents for identification. The clinic will ensure they are safe while you sleep.
  4. Your clinic may provide shower facilities, but if they don't, shower before your appointment. You should also avoid putting on body lotions and creams, hair products, or any head/hair attachments.

If you have trouble sleeping, consult your doctor. You may receive a diagnosis from a consultation. It may, however, be lacking in specifics. With a sleep study, you'll gain a better understanding of your sleep issues. Consult your doctor about sleep studies so you can find one that fits your needs and your budget.