What is a Polysomnography?

A polysomnography is a complex evaluation of a patient during sleep. Functions monitored include: EEG, cardiac and respiratory function, airflow throughout the noise and mouth, and movement of the eyes, chin, chest and legs.

How is the examination performed?

A specially trained technician will conduct the evaluation. Please follow his/her directions carefully. A successful evaluation depends on your cooperation.

After you are dressed for sleep, the technician will apply approximately 20 electrodes to your scalp and skin.

Once in bed, the technician will apply an oxygen sensor to your finger, and straps around your chest and stomach areas. You will notice a small red light in the sleep room. This allows the technician to observe you as you sleep.

Your movements throughout sleep may also be videotaped, at the physician's request.

You will be permitted to get out of bed only for bathroom needs. After completing the polysomnography, you will be able to shower and leave the Wilson Sleep Lab.

How long will the evaluation last?

An overnight study starts at approximately 7:30 p.m. and usually ends by 7:00 a.m. the following morning. In some cases, a nap study immediately follows an overnight study and ends at 4:30 p.m.

Is the procedure painful?

You should experience no pain. Some patients experience a slight tingling sensation where the skin is cleaned for electrode placement.

Some patients feel uncomfortable with all the equipment on, but most patients sleep adequately their first night in the laboratory. On rare occasions, a patient may need to come in for a repeat study due to inadequate sleep.

What if I'm sick the day of the test?

If you are sick or unable to come in for the monitoring, please call the Wilson Sleep Lab as soon as possible.

When will I know the results?

The final report of your polysomnography will be sent to your physician. You will receive a follow-up appointment with your physician during which the results will be discussed.

Polysomnography - Preparation

To assure the most accurate results from your polysomnography sleep evaluation, it is important that you observe the following instructions.

  1. Things to do the day of your scheduled polysomnography
    • Maintain your normal schedule
    • Shampoo your hair and apply no oils or conditioners afterward
    • Eat your evening meal before 7 p.m.
    • Report to the Wilson Sleep Lab by 8:15 p.m.
    • Bring something comfortable to sleep in
    • If you think you will sleep better, bring your own pillow
  2. Things to avoid the day of your scheduled polysomnography
    • Drink no caffeinated beverages (including tea, coffee, colas, and chocolate)
    • Drink no alcoholic beverages during the day of monitoring
    • Do not take naps
    • Do not start new diet or exercise programs
  3. Medications
    • Take all prescribed medications ordered by your physician
    • Do not take any sleeping medication prior to your study. Bring your sleeping medication with you the night of your exam.

For more information about the polysomnography sleep evaluation, or for any questions regarding the Wilson Sleep Lab, please call (937) 498-5447.