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Sleep Disorders Center

Sleep study

In order to determine why an individual is having sleep-related difficulties, a sleep study may be ordered by the physician. A sleep study is a recording that measures and documents many naturally occurring processes of the body during sleep.

Each of the four stages of sleep is important in achieving normal, restful sleep. A polysomnogram, or sleep study, provides useful information about different stages of sleep. Some of the things recorded are ECG (heart rate and rhythm), EEG (brain waves), eye movements, chin movements, breathing effort and airflow, abdominal movements, pulse oximetry and leg movements. These recordings are gathered through the use of electrodes (small metal discs applied to the skin), effort belts, and cameras and microphones. Testing is painless and requires the patient to spend the night in a comfortable surrounding. Through the night, a sleep technologist monitors the testing from an adjacent room and responds to the patient's needs during the process.

The analysis that takes place after the test is completed is extensive. A typical sleep study contains more than 800 pages of raw data. Each line of each page must be studied separately. This process is known as scoring. After the study is scored by a specially trained sleep technologist, the scored information is interpreted by a physician with specialized training in sleep disorders. If a sleep disorder is diagnosed, a treatment plan can be formulated to improve the patient's condition.

Contact information

For more information, call the Sleep Disorders Center at 513.524.5475.

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