by Annie Stuart
Polysomnography (PSG) is a study of sleep cycles and sleep behavior. It is usually done in a sleep center overnight. This study involves observing a person at sleep while charting brain waves and other body functions.
This study can evaluate sleeping problems, such as:
Before the test you may be asked to do the following:
You will arrive in the evening. You will be given time to relax in the room where you will sleep. Electrodes will be attached to your head, legs, and chest. Other monitors are placed around your chest, near your nose and mouth, and on your finger. You will be able to read and relax again until your bedtime.
For most of the night you will be able to move and turn during sleep. However, you may be asked to try to sleep in a certain position for part of the night. You will be observed by video during the night. This will be done in case sensors come loose or need to be removed for you to go to the bathroom. Sometimes it is clear during the test that you can benefit from an intervention, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This intervention may be started midway through the night.
Your doctor may ask for an additional test for narcolepsy. The test is known as The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). You will need to stay for part of the next day. You will be asked to nap for up to 20 minutes every two hours. The time it takes you to fall asleep and the time it takes you to go into deep sleep will be measured.
Your sensors will be removed in the morning. In most cases, you will be able to go home.
After the procedure, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
About 10-12 hours
Results from this test may be ready right away. If not, then they are most often available within two weeks. Any abnormal breathing or leg movements during sleep will be noted. Your doctor will review the results and discuss them with you.
There should be no side effects or complications from the study. Call your doctor if you have any concerns.
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
American Sleep Apnea Association
National Sleep Foundation
Better Sleep Council Canada
Canadian Sleep Society
Polysomnography. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childre... Accessed November 26, 2012.
Polysomnography. KU Medical Center website. Available at: http://classes.kum... . Accessed November 26, 2012.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012
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