What is a Sleep Study?

Diagnostic Evaluation:
What Happens During a Typical Recording Period?

Most patients, whether hospitalized or outpatient, are recorded during their normal bedtime, in a comfortable, private, home-like bedroom. This simulates an average sleep period as closely as possible. Upon arrival at the laboratory, they are greeted by the polysomnographic technician, who answers their questions about the test, gives them a brief, pre-sleep questionnaire to complete, and applies the recording electrodes. 

During the night, the technician monitors the patient from an adjacent control room. This attention to detail ensures proper operation of monitoring equipment, quality control, attention to patient comfort, and rapid intervention in the event of medical emergencies. 

Up to 20 different types of information are recorded during sleep testing, which includes continuous monitoring of eye movement and muscle and brain wave activity, as well as limb movements, respiratory rate, airflow, breathing effort, oxygen saturation, heart rate and rhythm. Other specific physiological parameters may be recorded, if requested.

Upon completion of the overnight recordings, electrodes are removed, and a brief post-sleep questionnaire is completed. Occasionally, the all-night sleep recording may be followed by daytime naps for an evaluation of excessive daytime sleepiness. After the sleep study is completed, the Sleep Center staff will examine the recording and perform statistical analysis, which provides the Sleep Center physicians with the information necessary for diagnosis and treatment.