What is Sleep Study ?

A sleep study test or polysomnography is a test used for diagnosing sleep disorders. The test records the brain waves and the levels of oxygen in the blood, along with your heart rate and breathing. During the study, your leg and eye movements are also recorded.

At the Lifelong Clinic Speciality Clinic, the test is done under the supervision of trained professionals. The test helps in initiating or adjusting a treatment plan if you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder.

Why is a Sleep Study done ?

Polysomnography monitors your sleep cycles and stages to identify the disruptions in your sleep pattern. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is the first stage of falling asleep. Your brain waves slow down noticeably during this stage, as recorded by an EEG or electroencephalography.

In contrast to subsequent stages of sleep, your eyes will not move back and forth quickly during NREM. Your brain resumes activity after an hour or two of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and REM sleep starts. The majority of dreams happen during REM sleep.

When do you need a sleep study ?

1. Sleep apnea or any breathing disorder associated with sleep. During sleep, you experience this condition in which your breathing frequently starts and stops.

2. Periodic limb movement disorder. You involuntarily extend and flex your legs while you sleep if you have this sleep disorder. Sometimes this illness coexists with restless legs syndrome.

3. Narcolepsy. In this condition, you experience extreme drowsiness during the daytime and sudden attacks of sleep.

4. REM sleep behaviour disorder. As you sleep, you act out your dreams if you have this sleep disorder.

5. Abnormal sleeping behaviour: If you engage in unusual sleep activities like moving around a lot, rhythmic movements, or walking, your doctor might order this test.

6. Unexplained chronic insomnia. Your doctor might advise polysomnography if you frequently have difficulties falling or staying asleep.

Tests Done for Sleep Study done at LongLife

The tests performed under sleep study are as follows.

1. Routine or diagnostic overnight PSG

2. Multiple sleep latency test

3. Maintenance of wakefulness test

4. PAP or Positive Airway Pressure titration study

5. Split night PSG with PAP titration

What happens during a Sleep Study ?

If you are about to have a full sleep study, you will be asked to bring the items you usually use at the time of your bedtime routine. During the test, you can sleep in your night clothes.

The room where you will sleep will be quiet and dark. There will be no one else in the room with you. The place will have a low-light video camera that will enable the technologists to see what is happening in your room when you have fallen asleep. It will also have an audio system so that they can hear you and talk to you from the monitor room.

The technologists will place sensors on your legs, chest, temples, and scalp with a mild adhesive such as tape or glue. The sensors are connected to a computer by wires. However, these wires are long so that you are able to move easily while you sleep. A small clip is placed on the ear or finger to monitor the oxygen level in your blood.

During the sleep study, they will monitor your –

1. Limb movement

2. Body position

3. Brain waves

4. Eye movement

5. Abdominal and chest movement

6. Breathing pattern

7. Heart rate

8. Level of oxygen in the blood

9. Snoring and other noises you make while you are asleep

At the time of your sleep study, the technologist may ask you to try a PAP or positive airway pressure machine for your sleep apnea. CPAP, or a continuous positive airway pressure machine, is another type of PAP machine that delivers a constant air stream to keep the passage of airways open when you sleep. Some people can also opt for bPAP, or biPAP or bilevel-positive airway machines. They deliver more pressure when you breathe in and lower the pressure when you breathe out.

Though you may not fall asleep as easily as you do at home, it will not affect your test results. However, to obtain accurate results from your sleep study, a full night’s sleep is not required.

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