The stages of sleep range from light to deep. Each stage has characteristics that can be measured. A sleep study is a number of tests done at the same time during sleep. The tests measure specific sleep characteristics and help to diagnose sleep disorders. A sleep study may also be called polysomnogram.
The basic recordings done during a sleep study may include:
Sleep studies generally take place in a sleep lab during your normal sleeping hours. The goal is to record brain and body activity that happens during sleep so that sleep disorders can be diagnosed and treated.
During a sleep study, the following may be measured:
In addition, these tests may be done:
Doctors trained in sleep medicine evaluate test results to treat sleep issues. A trained sleep technician will be with you in the sleep lab during the testing period.
Common reasons for a sleep study include:
Nightmares during nondream stages of sleep (sleep terrors), sleep walking or talking, and rapid eye movement disorders are less common conditions that may also require a sleep study.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a sleep study.
A sleep study is generally done on an outpatient basis at night. Procedures may vary based on your condition and your healthcare provider's practices.
Generally, a sleep study follows this process:
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