There are several types of sleep studies, which are also called polysomnography. Your doctor will recommend the one is that right for you.
In-Lab Sleep Studies: This option is performed in a sleep lab by certified sleep technologists who are specifically trained to administer sleep studies and gather high-quality sleep data. Devices used during these studies include:
- EEG (electroencephalogram) sensors placed on your head to record your sleep stages and how long they last and to detect micro-arousals, meaning waking up during sleep without realizing it.
- Instruments are placed under your nose or in front of your mouth to measure breathing patterns.
- An elastic belt is placed around your ribcage and abdomen to help diagnose sleep apnea. It measures the effort your body generates while breathing or trying to breathe.
- Leads are placed on your limbs to measure movement during sleep. This can help identify disorders like periodic limb movement disorder (which is common in people with restless leg syndrome) or REM behavior disorder.
- EKG (electrocardiogram) leads are placed on your chest to monitor your heart rate and record any arrhythmias.
Daytime Sleep Studies: Depending on your symptoms, you may need to complete an overnight sleep study and/or one or more of the following daytime sleep studies:
- Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT): Uses data from a series of naps to help identify narcolepsy and disorders causing daytime sleepiness.
- Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT): Often used to determine a person’s ability to stay awake to ensure it is safe for you to operate a motor vehicle.
After completing an initial sleep study and being diagnosed with sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, you may benefit from another study to confirm which type of treatment is best for you and to assess the effectiveness of an oral device or CPAP/BiPAP pressure levels.