What is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) is a test that records your physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness.
A sleep study provides data that is essential to evaluating sleep stages and sleep-related complaints, such as body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rate, the amount of snoring and general sleep behavior.
If you have been diagnosed with a sleep problem or disorder, your primary care physician may refer you to our sleep lab to participate in a sleep study. At FLASS, we offer sleep studies in our state-of-the-art sleep laboratory. We also provide ambulatory home sleep studies for patients.
Benefits to Participating in a Sleep Studies with FLASS
Types of Sleep Studies
There are 5 main types of sleep studies:
- Nocturnal PolySomnoGram (NPSG) — conducted overnight to monitor breathing, heart rate, snoring, sleep stages, the number of times you wake up, leg movements, body movements and oxygen levels.
- Split Night Studies (CPAP) — study where half the night will be used to diagnose your sleep problem, and the other half will be used to treat the problem. This is common with patients who are being tested for sleep apnea.
- Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) — series of nap studies performed primarily during the day after your sleep study. This is a standardized test to rule out Narcolepsy and/or Idiopathic Hypersomnolence.
- Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) — series of studies performed primarily during the day and followed after your sleep study. This is a standardized test to justify your level of alertness/wakefulness (for employment/FAA reasons).
- Home Sleep Study (HST) — study that is conducted from the comfort of your home using a portable monitoring devices to record oxygen levels, heart rate, air flow and more.
After you arrive at the sleep center, you may be asked to watch a video about the sleep complete a questionnaire on your sleep the night before. You may also watch an informative study or a specific disorder, such as sleep apnea. Then you will be asked to change into nightclothes.
After changing, one of our trained polysomnographic technicians will connect the electrodes that will record your brain waves and muscle movements throughout the night. The electrodes are placed in specific areas and applied with water-soluble glue and tape.
The electrodes record brain waves, muscle movement, rapid eye movement (REM), air intake and periodic limb movement. A microphone attached to your neck records snoring, and two belt-like straps around the chest and lower abdomen monitor muscle movement during breathing.
Despite all the equipment, most people who participate in a sleep study say that it doesn’t disrupt their sleep!
After settling into bed, your technician may go to a monitoring room and ask you over an intercom to perform certain tasks that will ensure that the electrodes are recording properly. You will be observed on a television monitor during the night so the technician can note your body movements during sleep.
When everything is working properly, the lights will be turned off and you can go to sleep. Many patients who are referred for a sleep study are so chronically tired that they have no problem falling asleep.
While you are sleeping, your brain waves will be recorded to determine when you are awake or in Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 or REM sleep. You will be awakened in the morning and the electrodes will be removed. Since they are applied with water-soluble glue or tape, removal isn’t painful. You might be asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire about your sleep the previous night, and then you can go home.
The results of your study will be available within 1 week. Our Sleep Coordinator will contact you to schedule a time to review your results with your physician.
Based on the results of your sleep study, you may be given treatment for a specific sleep disorder. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, which is a device that gently blows air into your nasal passages to keep the airway open while you are awake.
Sleep Study Appointment
Your assessment and diagnosis is very important to us. We do understand that changing an appointment is sometimes necessary. If you find that you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, kindly give us 24-hour notice.