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What is polysomnography?

Polysomnography (PSG) is a sleep test to learn if you have a sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD), such as obstructive sleep apnea.

Why do I need PSG?

  • You wake up often during the night.
  • You sleepwalk, have night terrors, or have seizures in your sleep.
  • Your healthcare provider thinks you may have a leg movement sleep disorder.
  • You have symptoms of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes severe sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks.
  • You have problems with the nerves that control muscle movement while you sleep.
  • You have violent or other harmful sleep-related behavior.

What are the signs and symptoms of a SRBD?

Your signs and symptoms may only be noticed by another person who is in the same room while you sleep. The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Choking or gasping for air while you sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Restlessness while you sleep
  • Snoring
  • Sweating in your sleep
  • Waking with a very dry mouth or headaches
  • Interruptions in your breathing while you are asleep

How is a PSG test done?

  • PSG testing is usually done in a sleep center room that looks like a bedroom. Healthcare providers will put electrodes on you. These are sticky pads connected to wires. They record snoring, heartbeat, oxygen levels, and body movements while you are asleep. PSG testing may also be done at your home. Healthcare providers will tell you how to do a home PSG test. You may need to go to a sleep center before your home test to have electrodes put on. You will be given a portable monitor to take home for this test.
  • Your PSG may be done as a single night or split night test. For a single night test, your sleep will be monitored by healthcare providers all night. Split night testing is done if you stop breathing at times during the first few hours of the test. If this happens, your healthcare provider may have you use a breathing machine with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the rest of your test. The CPAP machine blows a gentle stream of air into a mask placed over your nose and mouth. The split night test with CPAP may help your healthcare provider know if this treatment will help your SRBD.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Polysomnography

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.