A polysomnogram, also known as PSG, is the gold standard test to help diagnose sleep disorders.
What is polysomnography?
A polysomnogram (PSG) is the gold standard test to help diagnose sleep disorders.
It involves measuring brain wave activity, eye, and limb movements whilst monitoring the breathing pattern and pulse rate during sleep. It is a non-invasive test which requires several sensors and electrodes to be placed on specific points of the body. Video is also recorded during the study to investigate any movements that might be related to sleep behaviours.
We also provide home video polysomnography for patients who struggle in sleep in an unfamiliar environment.
Polysomnography monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify if and why your sleep is disrupted. Therefore, it is helpful in the following:
- to assist in diagnosing sleep related breathing disorders (SRBD) and ensuring treatment is sufficient for those patients with SRBD
- to rule out any physiological causes of insomnia
- to investigate for restless legs syndrome and/or periodic limb movements of sleep
- to investigate parasomnias, circadian rhythm disorders and other disorders of sleep which require neurological monitoring
- to assess sleep efficiency in those complaining of poor sleep quality
Having a polysomnogram
You will be admitted to the hospital for one night and are expected to arrive at 6:30pm.
Once settled in your room, a physiologist will meet you, explain the test, and will then begin applying the sensors, a process that usually takes one-and-a-half to two hours. Sensors will be glued to the scalp, and placed on the face, chest, hand, and legs.
You will be able to move freely around your room once connected. You will also have the option to have dinner once the connection is complete. If you wish to eat before this, we ask that you have dinner before attending your appointment.
During the test
You will be asked to try to relax as you would at home and to go to bed at your routine time. The recording is taken whilst you sleep.
A physiologist will come and disconnect you from the sensors at the arranged time on the following morning. This usually takes 30 minutes.
We strongly advise that you shower and wash your hair following disconnection to avoid any skin irritation. Breakfast is provided. Once disconnected, you are free to leave as you wish.
We ask that you attend your appointment on time to ensure there is minimal disruption to your normal bedtime routine.
Please come with clean hair. Make up, nail polish, and acrylic nails will need to be removed prior to the test as this will affect the signals. Please bring comfortable clothes or pyjamas for sleeping in.
Please refrain from caffeine and alcohol on the afternoon of the test.
We recommend you bring something to help you wind down in the evening, such as a book. There is a television and Wi-Fi in the room, although we ask that you use these within reason as we do not want to compromise the quality of your sleep.
Once completed, the physiologist will analyse the results of the test for any abnormal limb movements and/or breathing changes. They will score sleep stages, sleep efficiency, and arousals, as well as pulse and oxygen levels.
With all this information, a detailed report will be created, which will then be reviewed by our Sleep Consultant.
The results are returned to the referring physician within 10 days of completion. A follow-up consultation is advised with your referring doctor to discuss any findings.
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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.