What Is A Polysomnogram?

A polysomnogram, or sleep study, is a test that monitors various body functions that occur while you sleep. It is almost always done in a sleep lab under the supervision of a sleep technologist.

A polysomnogram is most useful when people feel excessively tired and sleepy despite spending adequate time sleeping at night. It helps to reveal Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, various nocturnal movement disorders, and other conditions. Occasionally it helps in the evaluation of a person with Insomnia

The test is performed overnight. If the sleep technologist sees that the that the person clearly has Obstructive Sleep Apnea, they will try treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the later part of the night. Some people suffering from severe excessive daytime sleepiness have a normal overnight sleep study. In those cases, it is helpful to stay the following day for a sleep study that tests for Narcolepsy.

Some sleep problems, especially Insomnia and Resltess Leg Syndrome, don't usually require a polysomnogram for diagnosis and treatment. The decision to order a sleep study is made after consulting with a physician. The following link has a fairly detailed description of what is involved with a polysomnogram:


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