A polysomnography (PSG) is a diagnostic sleep study. It is used to diagnose sleep disorders. The test is usually done overnight in a sleep lab. You will be hooked up to machines that monitor your heart rate, breathing, and brain waves. The test can help your doctor find out if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may need a sleep study. Polysomnography (PSG) is the comprehensive test used to diagnose sleep disorders. It records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study. This information can help your doctor determine what’s causing your sleep problems and how to treat them. Polysomnography may also be used to help adjust your treatment plan if you’ve already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder, or think you may have a sleep disorder a polysomnography test might be right for you. Symptoms of sleep disorders include
If you have any of these symptoms, a sleep study may be ordered to rule out or diagnose a sleep disorder.
You may be advised to avoid drinks or food containing alcohol or caffeine 24 hours before polysomnography. Alcohol and caffeine can change your sleep patterns, and they may make symptoms of some sleep disorders worse. Napping in the afternoon before a sleep study is discouraged. If you are advised to shower before your sleep study, make sure not to put on any lotions, gels, colognes, or makeup. These can interfere with the use of the electrodes.
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The sleep lab has comfortable, private bedrooms where you will spend the night. You’ll be asked to arrive at the sleep center in the early evening and stay overnight. Once you’ve settled in your room, sensors will be placed on your head, face, chest, and legs.
These sensors are connected by wires to a computer, which monitors your brain waves, heart rate, breathing pattern, and blood oxygen level throughout the night. You may also have a sensor placed under your chin to measure snoring and other noise you make as you sleep. The technologist will monitor your sleep from another room and will wake you up in the morning.
You will be asked to sleep in different positions during the study so the computer can get a complete picture of your sleep patterns. Most people find the test relatively comfortable, although some may find it uncomfortable to have wires attached to their body.
The polysomnography test usually lasts about eight hours. In the morning, you’ll remove the sensors and return home.
You’ll be given an appointment for a follow-up visit with the doctor who recommended the test. You can return to your usual activities after polysomnography.
If you have any questions about the test or how to prepare for it, please call the sleep center.