Diagnostic Polysomnography

An in-lab sleep study, or diagnostic polysomnography (PSG), is an overnight recording of patterns and behaviors associated with sleep. It is performed in order to determine what stages of sleep an individual achieves and whether any sleep-related abnormalities are present.

What to Expect

Before the PSG is performed a variety of sensors are applied with paste or tape to the body’s surface to record brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, body movements, heart rhythm and breathing patterns. Nothing painful (such as needles) is used during a PSG. Audiovisual recordings are also made, and the oxygen content of the blood is measured non-invasively with a simple clip on a finger. Although there are many connecting wires to the sensors, you are free to get up and use the restroom as needed. A trained sleep technologist is there for the entire duration of the study, to explain the procedure, operate the diagnostic equipment and is stationed all night in an adjacent control room to both monitor the sleep recording and ensure your comfort and wellbeing.

Our sleep technologists are excellent at ensuring your comfort and answering any questions that may arise. During the sleep study, every attempt is made to allow for a normal comfy night’s sleep. Some people typically sleep better or worse when away from home, but in either case this typically does not affect the quality of the sleep study.

Following the sleep study, a physician that specializes in sleep medicine will interpret the recording. The findings will be integrated with your sleep history to determine a diagnosis and make the appropriate treatment recommendations. Depending on the type of sleep referral the physician that referred you will receive the results and review them with you at a follow-up office visit. If further testing is necessary your referring physician or the sleep specialist may make those arrangements on your behalf. A sleep study report will also be sent to your primary care physician.

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