A sleep study (polysomnography) provides comprehensive data on different body functions. Sophisticated equipment is used to monitor sleep patterns, breathing, heart activity, and body movements throughout the sleep period. The results are analyzed in detail by the professional staff to determine an accurate diagnosis. All decisions and recommendations regarding a treatment plan are made by a team of specialists.
In-lab Sleep Study
An in-lab sleep study provides the most complete evaluation of your sleep. You will be required to stay overnight at a sleep center.
It records your brain waves, heartbeats and breathing as you sleep. It also charts your eye movements, limb movements and oxygen in your blood. This data will help doctor make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
A board-certified sleep medicine physician may recommend an in-lab sleep study to:
- Test for sleep-related breathing disorders including sleep apnea.
- Evaluate behaviors during sleep due to parasomnias
- Diagnose narcolepsy or hypersomnia along with the MSLT
- Titrate or calibrate the levels of continuous positive airway pressure in patients who receive CPAP therapy for sleep related breathing disorders.
- Determine why treatment for a sleep disorder is not working.
For some patients suspected of obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep physician may recommend a home sleep apnea test instead of an in-lab study. A home sleep apnea test uses different equipment that you can set up yourself.
Home Sleep Study
It allows you to sleep at home wearing equipment that collects information about how you breathe during sleep. You will usually set up the testing equipment yourself.
There are a variety of home sleep apnea testing devices that have different sensors and equipment. These devices measure your breathing and blood oxygen level. Some also may measure your heart rate or other information about your body.
Home sleep apnea testing is used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. A physician may recommend home sleep apnea testing if:
- It is highly likely that you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
- You have no significant medical conditions other than the suspected obstructive sleep apnea