Sleep Study ashansiam February 18, 2022

What are Sleep Studies?

  • Sleep studies are most commonly used to detect sleep related breathing disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • There are two main forms of sleep studies,
    • Hospital based – you will need to be admitted and you will sleep in a special room.
    • Home based – the sleep study will be performed within your home.
Hospital based sleep study or Polysomnography
  • This is an investigation performed in a hospital setting and is currently the gold standard investigation for the diagnosis of sleep apnea.
  • You will be provided with a comfortable room and bed in which you will sleep overnight, the investigation is performed while you are asleep.
  • You will be able to have a relative or a friend as your bystander during the investigation.
  • The tests takes several recordings from leads placed using sticky tape on your scalp, face, chest wall and legs. A thin plastic wire will be placed in the nose to measure the flow of air through the nose
  • You will also wear a belt around your chest and abdomen which will measure movements of your chest and abdomen with breathing during your sleep.
  • You will also have a “ finger clip “ worn on your finger that will measure blood oxygen levels.
Home based sleep study or Polygraphy
  • This is a simpler investigation which can be performed at your home.
  • These tests are recommended only for certain groups of people, who have a high degree of suspicion for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Home based sleep studies may NOT be suitable for you if you fall into any of the following categories,
    • You are under 18 years of age.
    • You are suspected to have a sleep disorder other than Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    • You are a patient with a known neuromuscular disease.
    • You are a patient with one more of the following co-morbid diseases,
      • COPD with Pulmonary Hypertension.
      • Interstitial lung diseases.
      • Congestive cardiac failure.
      • Known cardiac rhythm disorders.
  • The information obtained from a sleep study is electronically stored. These are analyzed by sleep technicians and interpreted by sleep specialists/respiratory physicians.
How to prepare for your hospital based sleep study?
  • Do not take naps on the day of the study – unless you routinely take a day time nap.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, cola).
  • Wash and dry your hair, do not apply sprays, oils or gels.
  • Remove any nail polish.
  • Please bring your usual comfortable night clothes.
  • Do not bring laptops, iPads that will interfere with a good night’s sleep.
  • You may bring a book, relaxing music or your favorite pillow.
  • Please bring personal toiletries.
  • Please bring change of clothes for next day.
  • Please avoid bringing valuables, jewelry items etc.
  • Please bring and take your usual medication.
  • Please  come with a by stander. Facilities are there for the by bystander to sleep as well.
  • Please arrive at the hospital/sleep lab at the time specified on the day of the test.
  • The test is performed during your sleep till the following morning until you wake up or until the technician wakes you up, generally around 6.30am/7.00am.
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