What is Polysomnography?
Polysomnography also called, sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the sleep study. Polysomnography monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify if or when your sleep patterns are disrupted and why.
The normal process of falling asleep begins with a sleep stage called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During this stage, your brain waves, as recorded by electroencephalography (EEG), slow down considerably. Your eyes don’t move back and forth rapidly during NREM, in contrast to later stages of sleep. After an hour or two of NREM sleep, your brain activity picks up again, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins.
Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep. You normally go through four to six sleep cycles a night, cycling between NREM and REM sleep in about 90 minutes. Your REM stage usually lengthens with each cycle as the night progresses. Sleep disorders can disturb this sleep process.
Your doctor may recommend polysomnography, sleep study, if he or she suspects you have:
Sleep apnea or a sleep-related breathing disorder. In this condition, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
Narcolepsy. You experience overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep in this condition.
REM sleep behavior disorder. This sleep disorder involves acting out dreams as you sleep.
Unusual behaviors during sleep. Your doctor may perform this test if you do unusual activities during sleep, such as walking, moving around a lot, or rhythmic movements.
Unexplained chronic insomnia. If you consistently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, your doctor may recommend polysomnography.
If you are experiencing any symptoms relating to the sleep disorders listed above we invite you to take our free sleep test today. We have several sleep apnea centers that can help.