Polysomnography is a kind of sleep study in which a test is conducted to diagnose different sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, sleepwalking, and sleep paralysis. Polysomnography records your heart rate, brain waves, breathing, eye, and leg movements, and oxygen level in the blood during sleep. This test can be conducted either in a lab, a sleep center, or a hospital by technicians licensed and accredited in sleep medicine. An in-lab sleep study or polysomnography tracks your sleep cycles and sleep stages to figure out the abnormalities in your sleeping patterns.
However, for many patients, the idea of sleeping overnight in a sleep study is quite uncomfortable, and they often feel anxious and reluctant to do it. That’s understandable—it can be overwhelming to imagine going sleep and being monitored by complete strangers in an unfamiliar environment. But, in-lab sleep tests are quite essential to find out all the necessary information that helps the sleep specialists doctors accurately diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Not to mention, such tests are performed by certified sleep technicians who will help you be as comfortable as you can be during your stay. Here’s everything you should know about the test.
How to prepare for polysomnography?
If you have an in-lab sleep study scheduled for the evening, try not to sleep in the afternoon or at least a few hours before the test as then it will be tough for you to sleep properly during the test. You may also take a shower before going for study to relax yourself. Avoid using any lotion, strong perfume, gel, or makeup before the test as it may interfere with electrodes that will be used on your body during the test. You should also avoid caffeine or alcohol before the polysomnography as it will affect your sleep pattern and can worsen the symptoms of your sleep disorder. Do remember to carry all the toiletries and things you need for your bedtime routine like nightgown as this is an overnight test which will require you to stay at the sleep center for the nights mentioned by the doctor. Don’t forget a change of clothes for the next day and some reading material to keep you occupied.
What to expect during polysomnography?
When you reach the sleep center, you will be taken to a sleep lab where your polysomnography will be conducted. It is usually a quiet and soothing room, and you will be alone there so that you feel comfortable. There will be a camera installed in that room which will monitor your activities during sleep. Polysomnography technologists will record your activities with that camera, and they will be watching you through the monitor. A microphone along with the audio system will also be installed in your room so that whatever you speak during the test, it can be audible to the polysomnography technologist. Also, the technologists will interact to you through the microphone itself.
Once you are ready to go to bed, a sleep technologist will place the sensors on your legs, chest, scalp, and temples using a mild, skin-friendly adhesive. These sensors will be connected to a computer to monitor your vitals. Don’t be afraid, you will hardly notice these sensors, and they won’t cause any discomfort. A tiny clip will be placed on your ear and finger to check the oxygen level in your blood. These instruments will measure all the vital signs during your sleep like your brain waves, body postures, eye movements, breathing patterns, limb movement, abdominal and chest movement, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate, and the noises you make while sleeping.
We get it. The idea of being able to sleep comfortably outside of your own bed with so many wires attached to your body seems impossible. But it’s not that much of a big deal. You would be surprised to hear that rarely does a sleep study fail because the patient was unable to sleep. Even if you didn’t get a whole lot of sleep during your study, that’s okay. The chances are you slept enough to obtain an adequate amount of data.
What Happens After the Sleep Study?
In the morning, after the completion of the test, the technicians will remove the sensors, and you are free to leave. You won’t get your results immediately. Instead, the technician will share it with your sleep specialist for evaluation. It may take up to a week or two to prepare and review the results, so don’t worry about it. Your doctor or sleep specialist then make a diagnosis based on the reports and your medical history and will go over possible treatments for your condition.
At Midland Healthcare & Research Center, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the best (and most current) information available regarding everything sleep related. If you have any further questions about sleep studies, sleep disorders, or any other sleep associated questions, feel free to contact us here. If you are facing any sleep-related issues, you can book an appointment for with the best sleep specialist doctor in Lucknow at Midland. We also have a well-equipped sleep study center in Lucknow for patients needing it.