What is a polysomnography sleep study?

This question was asked in Firestone Park, California on 03/29/2012.
What is a sleep study? I have had trouble with snoring and sleeping for years and it is getting to be too much. I'd like to know if a sleep study could help and what it is.

Doctors Answers (3)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 5/4/2012 1

PSG or polysomnography is an overnight study that involves spending a night in the sleep lab. The test requires patient to sleep in the lab, while wires and sensors are attached to the surface of the skin. The test is about 8 to 10 hours long. Usually, are no special requirements for the testing. The patients are requested to come in their comfortable pajamas & bring along any medications that they take at nighttime. The sleep lab bedrooms are decorated to look like a typical bedroom or a hotel room. The technician explains the whole procedure, have fill out forms, and address any questions or concerns by the patient or family. The sleep technician is present during the entire night of the testing and ensures the quality of the testing is maintained to get the best possible results. Restroom breaks are usually not a problem as study is paused during that time. If someone is noted to have severe sleep apnea in the first 2 hours of test, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) is initiated the very same night to determine the optimum pressure that will alleviate their apneas. Most of the times, patients with obstructive sleep apnea are scheduled to come in for a second night of testing.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 3/22/2012

An attended sleep study in a lab or polysomnogram is designed to evaluate all aspects of sleep. It monitors brain waves, eye movements, breathing patterns. snoring, oxygen saturation in the blood, heart rate and limb movements during the night time evaluation to see if you have significant sleep disordered breathing or disrupted sleep for another reason. If you think the problem is long standing or more serious at this point in your life then your primary care doctor should refer you for an evaluation and a subsequent diagnosis and treatment plan.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 3/22/2012

Polysomnography refers to the study of sleep using a polysomnograph machine to produce a polysomnogram. Basically, all the words refer to the typical “sleep study” with which most people are familiar. The “poly” means “many” referring to the multiple channels measuring various functions such as heart rate, brain waves, eye movements, muscle movements, oxygen levels, breathing and body position. The “somno” is derived from the word “somnus”, the ancient Roman God of Sleep.