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Polysomnography, also known as an in-lab sleep study, is a comprehensive diagnostic test conducted in a sleep center or specialized sleep clinic. It provides detailed information about your sleep patterns, breathing, and other physiological functions.

What is polysomnography?

Polysomnography is a diagnostic test that monitors various physiological functions during sleep. It involves the use of specialized sensors and equipment to record data such as brain waves (EEG), eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, airflow, breathing effort, oxygen levels, and leg movements.

Why would I need polysomnography?

A polysomnography is recommended when there is a suspicion of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, or other conditions affecting sleep. It provides detailed information to help diagnose and evaluate the severity of these disorders.

How does polysomnography work?

During polysomnography, you will spend a night at a sleep center. Sensors will be placed on various body parts, such as your scalp, face, chest, abdomen, legs, and finger. These sensors are painless and non-invasive. The sensors collect data while you sleep, which is later analyzed by sleep specialists.

What can I expect during polysomnography?

You will be provided with a private room designed to resemble a bedroom at the sleep center. The sleep technician will attach the sensors to your body using adhesive or straps. You may need to sleep with wires and sensors connected, but the sleep center staff will ensure your comfort as much as possible. They will monitor your sleep and the recorded data throughout the night.

How should I prepare for polysomnography?

Your sleep center will provide specific instructions to prepare for polysomnography. This may include avoiding caffeine or certain medications, arriving at the sleep center in comfortable clothing, and following any other guidelines provided. It is also important to inform the sleep center about any ongoing medical conditions or medications you are taking.

Is polysomnography uncomfortable or invasive?

Polysomnography is generally considered safe, comfortable, and non-invasive. While the presence of sensors and wires may feel unfamiliar at first, the sleep center staff will ensure your comfort as much as possible. The goal is to create an environment that allows for natural sleep while collecting essential data.

Can polysomnography diagnose sleep apnea?

Yes, polysomnography can diagnose sleep apnea. It measures parameters such as breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and respiratory events like apneas and hypopneas. Sleep specialists analyze the data to determine the presence and severity of sleep apnea, which helps guide treatment recommendations.

What happens after polysomnography?

After the polysomnography, sleep specialists will analyze the recorded data and prepare a detailed report. This report includes information about your sleep stages, respiratory events, oxygen levels, movements, and other relevant data. A follow-up appointment with a sleep specialist will be scheduled to discuss the results, provide a diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Polysomnography is a valuable tool for diagnosing sleep disorders, providing insights into your sleep architecture and physiological functions. It is performed in a controlled environment under the supervision of trained professionals to ensure accurate and reliable results.


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