Polysomnography (Sleep Study) Procedure | Neurology


What is Polysomnography?

Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records cerebrum waves, blood oxygen level, pulse, and breathing, just as eye and leg developments during the examination.

Polysomnography is usually done in a sleep disorders unit within a hospital or a sleep centre. The test records your sleep patterns at night. Polysomnography is sometimes performed during the day to accommodate the shift workers who usually sleep during the day.

In addition to helping diagnose sleep disorders, polysomnography can be used to help adjust your treatment plan if you have already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.

Why do I need a polysomnography?

A doctor can use polysomnography to diagnose sleep disorders. The symptoms of sleep apnea, which is a disorder in which breathing constantly stops and starts again, is often evaluated during sleep. Symptoms include sleep apnea:

  • Daytime sleepiness despite rest
  • Constant and loud snoring
  • Periods of holding your breath during sleep, followed by inhalations for air
  • Frequent bouts of awakening during the night
  • Sleep without rest

Polysomnography can likewise enable your PCP to analyze the accompanying rest issues:

  • Sleep-related seizure disorders
  • Periodic limb movement disorder or restless legs syndrome, which involves uncontrolled bending and extending of the legs during sleep
  • REM sleep behaviour disorder, which involves the realization of dreams during sleep
  • Chronic insomnia, which involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) warns that if sleep disorders are not treated, they may increase your risk:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression

There is also an association between sleep disturbances and an increased risk of injuries associated with falls and car accidents.

How do you prepare for the sleep study?

You may be advised to avoid drinks or foods containing alcohol or caffeine during the afternoon and evening hours before polysomnography. Liquor and caffeine can adjust your rest examples, and they may intensify indications of some rest problems.

A nap in the afternoon before a sleep study is discouraged. You will usually be asked to shower or shower before your sleep study. However, do not apply lotions, gels, cologne, or make-up before the test, as they can interfere with the use of the electrodes.

Polysomnography procedure

People usually arrive at a sleep centre in the evening to stay overnight to monitor their sleep patterns.

The environment is usually set up in a style similar to a hotel room, with a private bathroom and little noise or light to distract the individual. The room is equipped with a video camera to capture the movement and behaviour of the individual during his sleep, in addition to an audio system that allows any sounds to be monitored. This also allows for communication with technicians, if needed, for example, if the patient needs to go to the bathroom at night.

After the individual is ready to sleep according to their nighttime routine, a sensor will be placed on the scalp, temples, chest, and legs. The sensors are associated with the registering framework, through long wires that permit the person to move unreservedly in the bed. A blood oxygen level monitor is also placed on the patient’s finger or ear to monitor changes.

It’s normal to have a harder time falling asleep more than usual in an unfamiliar environment, but this will not affect the results as each stage of sleep will eventually arrive, even if bedtime is longer.

Depending on the purpose of polysomnography, there may be other specific machines involved in the study. For example, a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine can help improve breathing for individuals with sleep apnea. In the morning, the sensors are removed and the individual can leave the sleep centre and continue normal daily activities immediately.

Are there any risks?

Polysomnography usually does not carry any risks.

Nonetheless, now and again, an individual may respond to the cement that connects the sensors to their body. If they are concerned about this, they should talk to the technician beforehand.

What do the results of a polysomnogram mean?

One of your roles as a sleep technologist is to record sleep stages and recorded events and plan them for your doctor’s review. Your observations during the study are crucial in helping the sleep doctor identify specific conditions, which means you need to take notes such as disturbances during the various stages of sleep, which are identified by brain waves and eye movements, which may indicate REM sleep behaviour disorder or narcolepsy. . You may also notice changes in heart rate and breathing along with changes in blood oxygen levels that indicate sleep apnea.

Other observations may include repetitive leg movements that may indicate periodic limb movement disorder or unusual movements and noises during sleep that indicate the potential for REM sleep. There are many possibilities that can only be discovered through the strong combination of skilled sleep technologists and information gathered by electrodes and sensors connected to patients.

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