An overnight in-lab sleep study provides a board-certified sleep medicine physician with the most complete evaluation of your sleep. You will be required to stay overnight at a sleep center, hospital, or a hotel room. 

A typical sleep study (often called a polysomnogram) involves sensors attached to monitor brain waves, heart rhythms, breathing, oxygen levels, and body movements. It also charts your eye and limb movements. These sensors include: wires on the head, cannula near the nose and mouth, belts around the torso, clips on the fingers, and wires on the legs. This data will help your doctor make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. 

A board-certified sleep medicine physician may recommend an in-lab sleep study to:

  • Test for sleep-related breathing disorders including sleep apnea.
  • Evaluate behaviors during sleep due to parasomnias.
  • Diagnose narcolepsy or hypersomnia along with the MSLT.
  • Titrate or calibrate the levels of continuous positive airway pressure in patients who receive CPAP therapy for sleep related breathing disorders.
  • Determine why treatment for a sleep disorder is not working. 

For some patients suspected of obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep physician may recommend a home sleep apnea test instead of an in-lab study. A home sleep apnea test uses different equipment that you can set up yourself. 

An in-lab sleep study is the way to ensure that you have the proper diagnosis for a sleep disorder. Speak with your health care provider if you think you might need a sleep study.