Also known as polysomnography, a home sleep study monitors your sleep stages and cycles in order to determine whether you have obstructive sleep apnea. It also can be used to adjust your treatment plan if you've already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
How Does Polysomnography Measure Your Sleep Stages and Cycles?
A Sleep Study Records...
- air flow in your lungs
- heart rate
- the level of oxygen in your blood
- eye movement
- body position
- electrical activity of muscles
- brain waves (EEG)
- breathing effort and rate
The information recorded will tell your pulmonologist how often you experience apnea (when you stop breathing for ten seconds or longer) and hypopnea (when your breathing is partially blocked for at least ten seconds). These results will help your doctor determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
How Do I Prepare?
Your pulmonologist will give you a sleep study device to be used at home for your polysomnography, and will explain how to use it.
You must fill out necessary insurance forms before the device can be given to you.
Your pulmonologist will also request that you avoid alcohol and caffeinated foods and beverages in the afternoon and evening before your polosomnography, as these substances can alter your test results.
Once your sleep study is performed, you will return the testing devices to your pulmonologist, who will examine the results with the help of a lab technician.
You will have a follow-up appointment scheduled shortly after your sleep study, to discuss the results with your doctor.
More Information on Home Sleep Studies
Overview of how and why sleep studies are performed, as well as what your results mean, by the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.
An explanation of how a polysomnography works, including what the patient should prepare, and what to expect, by the Mayo Clinic.