Sleep Test (Polysomnogram)

Sleep Test (Polysomnogram)

Sleep testing may be ordered for many reasons. Sleep

test performed in a sleep testing facility are considered

the standard for testing for sleep disorders. While apnea

can be diagnosed with test performed by the individual

at home, many problems with sleep can only be

diagnosed with a polysomnogram (PSG).

The Test

The PSG is designed to measure sleep stages, breathing,

body movements, heart function and oxygen levels.

Measuring all of these functions is done with sensors

that are placed on you. At the sleep facility you may be

the first patient who the technologist connects to the

equipment or follow someone else. This order is usually

based on the time you normally go to sleep. You can

expect the sleep technologist to spend between 30 and 45

minutes placing the sensors. Once you are connected to

the monitors, you can go to sleep or read, watch TV, etc.

until the test begins. The test will begin as close to your

normal sleeping time as possible, but the center need to

consider the time needed to complete the test. A

minimum of six (6) hours of recording time is required.


The sleep technologist will explain the procedure of

connecting you to the recording equipment. There will

be wires pasted on your head, chin and legs. A small

sensor will be placed under your nose and heart

monitoring leads on your chest. You will be wearing belts

on your chest and abdomen. You will have a conducting

paste in your hair and on your face. This paste conducts

signals from your body to the monitors and gives us the

information to make the needed measurements.


Most people worry that they will not be able to sleep

during the test. Will I sleep long enough? Will it be good

enough sleep to get results? These worries are usually

unnecessary. The vast majority of patients sleep long

enough and well enough for the equipment to get

adequate information about their sleep.


Many individuals will be found to have obstructive

apnea early in a sleep test. If the amount of apnea

reaches a predetermined number per hour early in the

test, treatment with positive airway pressure will be

attempted during the remained of the night. The study is

split between the diagnostic study and a treatment study.

(Split Night Sleep Study)


Page Fact – A polysomnogram is the most accurate sleep test available.

Updated June 2022