Sleep Study | Sleep Study Test | Polysomnography | Sleep Latency Test

Sleep Study

Sleep study is a test that watches what happens to your body during sleep.

The sleep study is done to find out what is causing your sleep problems.

Sleep study can determine whether you have a problem with your stages of sleep.

Sleep study test:

Sleep study is conducted during night time. You have to take the necessary things along with you for the next morning. Some patients bring their own pillow for better sleep. Seep study is conducted in a private room which resembles a hospital room or a hotel room.

Before going to sleep, you can relax. The bedroom temperature is adjusted by your technician. Set up can take 30 to 45 minutes in order to get everything connected properly.

The main part of the sleep study is, understanding what is happening while you sleep. The electrodes are attached to your body and the recorded signals generated by your brain and muscle activity are sent back through the wires and recorded digitally.

A sensor is placed by the nose and mouth for airflow measurement. Belts are placed around the rib cage and abdomen for measuring breathing movements.

The major part of the sleep study is EEG or electroencephalogram. EEG measures and records alpha, beta, delta and theta waves.

Once the sleep study is completed, it is sent to sleep specialist for interpretation. The process takes 7 to 10 days. Sleep studies are easy to tolerate, comfortable and give the physician the required information to diagnose and treat the sleep disorder.

Sleep study can also determine whether you have problem with your stages of sleep. There are two stages of sleep: REM and non-REM. In normal person, REM and NREM alternate 4 to 5 times during a night’s sleep. If there is a change in this cycle, it is hard to sleep soundly.

Types of sleep studies:


Polysomnography sleep study is a test of sleep cycles and stages through the use of continuous recordings of brain waves, electrical activity of muscles, eye movement, breathing rate, heart beat, blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure during sleep.

Polysomnography is usually conducted in sleep lab. The test will be conducted during night so that normal sleep patterns can be produced.

The test is conducted to evaluate sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, hypersomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, breathing disorders during sleep and other sleep disorders.

Multiple sleep latency test:

A daytime multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) is often done following an overnight sleep study. The test usually starts after awakening in the morning and continues to late afternoon or early evening. MSLT test is painless and takes about seven hours for the completion of the test.

The test records patient’s brain waves, heart rate, muscle activity and brain movements. The test is used to determine the presence and severity of daytime sleepiness as well as abnormalities associated with narcolepsy.

Maintenance of wakefulness test:

It is similar to MSLT, but instead of lying down in bed, you will be asked to sit in bed and to stay awake rather than awake. There will be five sessions to this sleep study and each session will last approximately 40 minutes.

This test measures whether you can stay awake during a time when you are normally awake.

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