Sleep Study (Polysomnography)
A sleep study, more formally known as a polysomnography is performed to diagnose sleep disorders.
What You Can Expect During Polysomnography
- You arrive at the sleep center in the evening for your stay overnight.
- The room where polysomnography is done is similar to a hotel room. It’s dark and quiet during the test with a low-light video camera, so the polysomnography technologists monitoring you can see what’s happening in the room when the lights are out. It also has an audio system, so they can talk to you and hear you from their monitoring area outside the room.
- Sensors will be placed on your scalp, temples, chest and legs using a mild adhesive, such as glue or tape. The sensors are connected by wires to a computer, but the wires are long enough to let you move around in bed. A small clip also is placed on your finger or ear to monitor the level of oxygen in your blood.
- Monitoring parameters:
- Brain waves
- Eye movements
- Heart rate
- Breathing pattern
- Blood oxygen level
- Body position
- Chest and abdominal movement
- Limb movement
- Snoring and other noise you may make as you sleep
Polysomnography technologists monitor you throughout the night. If you need assistance, you can talk to them through the monitoring equipment. They can come into the room to detach the wires if you need to get up during the night.
During the study, if it’s noted that you have significant obstructive sleep apnoea, the technologist may have you try a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea. This is a device that consists of a tight-sealing mouth/nose piece through which a gentle stream of air is delivered to enhance your breathing and delivers a constant stream of air that keeps the airway passages open while you sleep.
In the morning, the sensors are removed, and you may leave the sleep center. You’re given an appointment for a follow-up visit with the doctor who recommended the test. You can return to your usual activities after polysomnography.
The information gathered during polysomnography is evaluated and a follow-up appointment by your doctor to review the results with you. Based on the data gathered, your doctor will discuss any treatment or further evaluation that you may need.
Preparation For Polysomnography (Sleep Study) Test
- Bring and take all of your regular prescribed medications according to your physician’s instructions. Inform the sleep technologist in advance if you are using any sleep medication or any other drug (e.g cannabis, miraa etc) which may affect your sleep pattern.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine or napping during the afternoon and evening before your sleep study.
- Bring sleeping clothes such as pajamas or shorts and a t-shirt and any other specialty items you may need for sleep or will need first thing in the morning such as toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair dryer, etc and clothes to go home in, or clothes for work if heading to your job in the morning
- Wash or shave and dry your hair before going to the clinic. Do not apply sprays, conditioners, gels, or oils to your hair. There are a number of electrodes that will be attached and these substances can interfere with the use of the electrodes. NB: you may be advised to shower in the sleep centre before the test.
- Remove nail polish from your index fingers. You will be wearing a pulse oximeter on one index finger
- You may be advised to bring your favorite pillow or blanket if desired.
- Eat your dinner before you arrive. Diabetics are advised to bring a light snack to maintain their blood sugar across the span of the test.
- Notify of any special needs you might have.g nocturnal enuresis(bedwetting), a walker, need for a recliner or wedge pillow, or a caregiver who attends to your needs overnight, let the lab manager know. Minors (under age18) and dependent adults must bring 1 parent or guardian
- Arrive at the sleep centre by 8:00 pm (7-8 pm)