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 bodily functions.
Wash your hair without any sprays, oils, or conditioners.
Eat a normal dinner the night of the test.
Don't drink alcohol or caffeine, or take any sleeping aids before the test.
Bring any medicines you are taking. Your doctor may ask you to stop some medicines before the test.
Bring comfortable pajamas and a bathrobe to wear.
Description of Test
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. But, you may be asked to try to sleep in a certain position for part of the night. You will be watched by video during the night. This will be done in case sensors come loose. They can also be taken off so you can use the bathroom if you need to. Sometimes, it is clear during the test that you can benefit from an intervention, such as
continuous positive airway pressure
(CPAP). This 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 2 hours. The time it takes you to fall asleep and the time it takes you to go into deep sleep will be measured.
Results from this test may be ready right away. If not, then they are most often available within 2 weeks. Any abnormal breathing or leg movements during sleep will be noted. Your doctor will review the results and discuss them with you.