If you have been suspected or diagnosed with a sleep disorder, your Physician may refer you to a sleep lab where you will participate in a Sleep Study. A Sleep Study (also called a polysomnogram) is a test that records your physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness. It provides data that is essential in evaluating sleep and sleep-related disorders.
During your Sleep Study, you will be monitored overnight for 6-7 hours. The sleep lab will send you forms requesting your medical and sleep history prior to your appointment. It also may provide tips and some special instructions for your sleep test.
Before your sleep test, you will meet with a Sleep Technician who will go over your medical and sleep history. You will be checked into one of our four comfortable sleep study rooms. The sleep study rooms are furnished with a queen size Sleep Number bed, chair, dresser, flat-screen television and DVD player. Each study room has an attached half bath and wireless internet access. Shower facilities are available in the Sleep Lab.
There will be a video presentation about the sleep study and sleep apnea, since a significant percentage of those who have sleep tests are suspected to have sleep apnea. The video may also address what you should expect during the sleep test to ease any fears that you may have. Then you will be asked to change into nightclothes.
After changing, the Sleep Technician will connect you to the electrodes that will record your brain waves and muscle movements throughout the night. The electrodes are placed in specific areas and applied with water-soluble glue and tape. The electrodes record brain waves, muscle movement, rapid eye movement (REM), air intake, and periodic limb movement. Despite all the equipment, most people say it doesn’t disrupt their sleep.
After settling into bed, your Sleep Technician will go to a centrally located Control Room and ask you over an intercom to perform certain tasks that will show the electrodes are recording properly. You will be observed on a television monitor during the night to allow the technician to note your body movements during sleep.
When everything is working properly, you will be asked to turn off the lights and television by about 10 PM. While you are sleeping, your brain waves will be recorded to determine when you are awake or in Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 or REM sleep. If during the study we detect a significant drop in your blood oxygen level, you may be fitted with a face mask that will deliver a continuous flow of air (CPAP). You will be awakened in the morning and the electrodes will be removed. Since the electrodes are applied with water-soluble glue or tape, removal isn’t painful. You will be awakened by the Sleep Technician by 6 AM and will be able to leave the Sleep Lab around 6:30 AM. You will need to make an appointment with your physician to review the results of your study. You might be asked to complete a survey concerning your sleep the previous night, and then you can go home.
Based on the results of your sleep study, you may be given treatment for a specific sleep disorder. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, which is a device that gently blows air into your nasal passages to keep the airway open while you are asleep