Sleep Studies

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You will need to be at the sleep lab a few hours before the test so the technician can prepare you for the study. You will fill out a questionnaire about your sleep the night before. You will also be asked to fill out another form after the study about your sleep during the study.

Polysomnogram study

For a polysomnogram (PSG) study, small pads or patches called electrodes will be placed on your head and body with a small amount of glue and tape. (The glue washes off easily after the test.) The electrodes record your brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, the amount of snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movements.

Soft elastic belts will be placed around your chest and belly to measure your breathing. Your blood oxygen levels will be checked by a small clip (oximeter) placed either on the tip of your index finger or on your earlobe.

The electrodes, elastic belts, and oximeter are designed to be as comfortable as possible and should not make it hard to sleep. At the beginning of the test, you will be asked to do things such as blink your eyes, move your legs, and hold your breath. This is done to make sure the equipment is working correctly. Polysomnogram recording equipment and video monitors will record your movements and activities while you sleep. The technician will be in a separate room checking the recordings.

If you have sleep apnea, you may wear a mask that is connected to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The mask fits over your nose or over your nose and mouth. The mask over the nose is used most often. The CPAP machine delivers air or extra oxygen. This increases the air pressure in your throat so your airway is more open when you breathe in.

When you are ready and the equipment is working correctly, the lights will be turned off, and you can go to sleep. For most polysomnogram studies, you will need to spend at least 6 hours overnight in the sleep lab.

Multiple sleep latency test

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