A sleep study is the most accurate way to diagnose most sleep disorders. It involves monitoring many aspects of your sleep for the entire night. Because sleep is such a complex process, the INTEGRIS Sleep Disorders Center of Oklahoma has an experienced, trained team of technologists that work together to monitor your sleep including your brain activity, heart rate, oxygen level and breathing pattern.
Sleep is a state of relative unconsciousness and stillness of the voluntary muscles (muscles that are controlled at will). The stages of sleep range from light to deep and each one has specific characteristics that can be measured. A sleep study consists of a number of medical tests performed at the same time during sleep. The tests measure specific sleep characteristics and help to diagnose sleep disorders. A sleep study may also be referred to as a polysomnogram.
The term "polysomnogram" indicates that there are multiple tests in a sleep study. Breaking the word into parts, "poly" means many, while "somno" means sleep and "gram" means recording - many sleep recordings. The basic recordings may include:
- 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.
Sleep studies generally take place in a sleep lab during a person's normal sleeping hours. The goal is to record brain and body activity that occurs during sleep so that sleep disorders can be diagnosed and treated. You may undertake a sleep study at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center and INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
In addition to polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and multiple wake tests (MWT) may be performed. MSLT's measure how long it takes to fall asleep, while MWT's measure whether you can stay awake during specified times.
Physicians trained in sleep medicine evaluate test results to determine a course of action and resolve sleep related issues. A trained sleep technician will be with you in the sleep lab during the testing period.