Sleep Studies at the Sleep Disorder Institute of Riverside Medical Center
Sleep studies, or polysomnograms, are tests to diagnosis sleep disorders. Typically, these studies will be ordered by your healthcare provider as a result of a clinic visit at which you and your provider have discussed your sleep problems. Sleep studies are the best method to understand how you sleep, and involve spending the night (or day if your sleep schedule revolves around shift work) at the Sleep Disorder Institute.
Your sleep study involves various readings and measurements of specific sleep characteristics and will help us diagnose your specific sleep disorders. The goal is to record your brain and body activity as it occurs during sleep so that sleep disorders can be diagnosed and treated.
During a sleep study, recording of the following will be done:
- Electroencephalography (EEG) - measures brain wave activity
- Electrooculogram (EOG) - measures eye movement
- Electromyelography (EMG) - measures muscle movement
- Other recordings - electrocardiogram (ECG) may be used to capture electrical activity of the heart; video recordings may also be part of the procedure.
Our sleep medicine specialists will evaluate your study results to determine a course of action and resolve sleep related issues. During your sleep study, one of our certified sleep technicians will be with you in the sleep lab monitoring your test.
Sleep Studies offered at the Sleep Disorder Institute
In addition to polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and multiple wake tests (MWT) and studies tailored to pediatric patients can be performed. MSLT's measure how long it takes to fall asleep, while MWT's measure whether you can stay awake during specified times.
What can be measured in a sleep study?
Various body activities and indicators may be measured during a sleep study. Measurements may include:
- Eye movement - number of eye movements and their frequency or speed
- Brain activity - electrical currents of the brain
- Limb movement - number and intensity of movements
- Breathing patterns - number and depth of respirations
- Heart rhythm - electrical activity of the heart
- Oxygen saturation - percentage of oxygen in the blood
- Acid/base balance of the stomach - amount of acid secreted during sleep
- Sleep latency - time it takes to fall asleep
- Sleep duration - period of time a person stays asleep
- Sleep efficiency - ratio of the total time asleep to the total time in bed
Reasons for the Procedure
Various conditions can cause difficulty with sleep. Common reasons for a sleep study include:
- Excessive snoring
- Sleep apnea (periods where the breath stops)
- Daytime sleepiness
- Insomnia (inability to sleep)
- Narcolepsy (sudden onset of sleep)
- Restless legs syndrome (condition causing uncomfortable leg sensations)
Sleep terrors (nightmares during non-dream stages of sleep), sleep walking or talking, and rapid eye movement disorders are less common conditions that may also require a sleep study for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a sleep study