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Sleep Studies

What is a Sleep Study?

Our sleep studies, also known as polysomnography testing, are conducted by experienced sleep technicians and respiratory care practitioners who have been specially trained in sleep diagnostics. We are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine(AASM) and all testing is done using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and follow the current standards, rules, and protocols.

Why should I consider a sleep study?

A sleep study enables a doctor to prescribe a course of treatment that will not only help a person to get a good night sleep, but to also feel better and improve their overall health. Sleep studies are crucial for people with obstructive sleep apnea, if left untreated can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

What does a Sleep Study measure?

A sleep study, or polysomnogram, includes measurements used to identify the different sleep stages, breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, muscle activity and heart rhythm, and is used to diagnose sleep disorders. The recording is accomplished by using electrodes applied to the head and body with an adhesive. Flexible elastic belts around the chest and abdomen measure breathing. We also utilize transcutaneous oxygen monitoring (TCM) for appropriate patients (a way to measure blood flow by assessing the oxygen level of tissue beneath the skin).

There are different types of sleep studies. The most common are:

Polysomnogram (Diagnostic PSG) - general monitoring and evaluation, usually done overnight. This test records several body functions during sleep, including: brain activity, eye movement, oxygen & carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through a patient'smouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest & belly movement (respiratory effort).

Home Sleep Testing (HST) - Device that is worn at home while a patient sleep to look specifically for Sleep Apnea.  It records breathing rate & rhythm,  respiratory effort, flow of air through a patient's mouth & nose, and oxygen levels.  Once the device is returned it is downloaded and reviewed to look for indications of Sleep Apnea.

Polysomnographic CPAP Titration (PAP Titration)- general monitoring like a regular PSG but in addition includes use of CPAP.  This is for patient who are diagnosed with OSA or any other condition that requires treatment with Positive Airway Pressure (PAP).  The purpose of this study is to help find an pressure for a patient who needs to use CPAP or other form of PAP therapy.  The patient may have never used PAP before or this may be a study for someone who has been using CPAP/PAP device and has been having trouble with the device or with their sleep.

Polysomnographic Split Night (Split) - a Split Night PSG is a combination of a PSG and a PAP titration.  This study starts as a PSG and ends with a CPAP (PAP) titration.  During the first part of the study if signs of moderate to severe Sleep Apnea are detected CPAP (PAP) therapy is added.  The 2nd half of the study will still include the monitoring that was being done in the initial part with the addition of working to find a pressure to eliminate the signs of Sleep Apnea. A patient that does not show moderate to sever Sleep Apnea OR does not show these signs until late in the monitoring will have a PSG study run instead.  NOTE: Some patients assume that if CPAP wasn't used during their study, they don't have sleep apnea.  There are a number of reasons a split night study might not be able to be done during the night yet the patient still has sleep apnea.  So if this happens to you please do not make this assumption.

Daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) - a series of 5 "nap" opportunities set at 2 hour increments between each nap following an Overnight Diagnostic Polysomnographic.  It is used to diagnose Narcolepsy and to measure the degree of daytime sleepiness. This test measures how long it takes you to fall asleep and the stages of sleep seen in the short nap opportunity. To ensure accurate results, the provider may ask for sleep diary and/or actigraphy to be done 2 weeks prior and it follows after an overnight diagnostic PSG to confirm at least 6 hours of sleep prior to the testing.

Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) - a series of 4 wake periods spaced in 2 hour increments between periods used to measure how alert you can be at different times during the day. This test measures whether you can stay awake during a time when you are normally awake.

Actigraphy - a monitor that looks similar to a watch and measures activity levels (many of these devices also include light levels as well).  It is usually scheduled to be worn for 2 weeks and go along with 2 weeks of sleep logs before the patient has a overnight PSG followed my an MSLT.



Take a look at our "What to Expect" photo tour to see inside a sleep study.