A Sleep Study, or Polysomnography (PSG) is a diagnostic test for various sleep-related breathing disorders, though most commonly for obstructive sleep apnoea. Whilst you are sleeping a variety of monitoring devices are connected to record data on your sleep pattern.

Why do a Sleep Study?

The PSG monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify if or when your sleep patterns are disrupted and why. Your doctor will order a PSG if they suspect you may have sleep apnoea or other conditions affecting the quality of your sleep.

Symptoms of sleep disorders mainly happen while you sleep and include:

  • Breathing stopping and starting
  • Making gasping, snorting or choking noises
  • Waking up a lot
  • Loud snoring
  • Having an uncomfortable feeling in your legs when you try to fall asleep, or sudden jerking leg movements while you sleep
  • Odd actions, such as moving your arms and legs, shouting, or walking

fell tired headache
During the day, you may also:

  • Feel very tired
  • Find it hard to concentrate
  • Have mood swings
  • Have a headache when you wake up

How the test conducted

Before you go to sleep, a technician attaches small, sticky patches called “electrodes” to your head, chest, and legs. A small tube is placed beneath your nose and 2 belts wrapped around your chest and abdomen.
The sleeping room is usually equipped with an infrared camera that allows the technician to see you without entering the room.

They collect data on:

  • Eye movements
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing pattern
  • Blood oxygen level
  • Body position
  • Chest and abdominal movement
  • Limb movement
  • Snoring and other noise you may make as you sleep

prepare for the test
How to prepare for the test

  • Maintain normal daily activities and avoid taking naps (unless it is part of your usual routine) on the day of your PSG.
  • Avoid consuming food and beverages containing caffeine such as coffee, tea and coke after lunch. Limit your water intake after dinner
  • Do not have alcoholic beverages within six hours of your bedtime
  • Take a shower or bath, wash and dry your hair before your PSG. Please do not use any hair products
  • Remove nail polish, nail stickers or other decorations on your fingernail and do not wear any make up
  • Take all of your regular medicines, unless your doctor tells you not to. Inform your doctor if you are under any medication and the prescribed dosage. Do not take sleeping pills as sleep enhancing medication may affect the outcome of your study, unless instructed to by your doctor
  • Wear comfortable clothes. Pajamas that open at the front are the most convenient and can be provided by the hospital along with toiletries
  • Pacemakers, defibrillators and other assistive devices are usually not contraindicated to the test.
  • If you have active respiratory infections with significant nasal congestion and coughing, you should reschedule the test once you have recovered
  • If you have acute pain treated with high-dose opioids, that you do not usually take, you should reschedule the test

Care after the procedure

Once you are fully awake, you will be disconnected from the test machine. The data collected will be interpreted by a specialist and a report will be sent to your doctor directly. Discharge and follow up plans should be followed as instructed by your doctor or nurse.

Articles on this website are informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. They should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.

If you want to enquire more about Sleep Study, please contact 2537 7407 or make an appointment to see our doctor.