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Description of Polysomnogram

Simultaneous recording of various physiologic characteristics is performed by a skilled sleep technician. Please note: Not every type of monitoring will be used for every patient. The sleep technician will determine which types of monitoring to utilize based on the condition being assessed.

  • Electroencephalography (brain waves) is used to determine sleep stages and detect epileptiform activity.
  • Electro-oculography (eye movements) is used to detect rapid eye movements.
  • Electromyography (muscle activity) is used to detect periodic limb movements and other movement disorders.
  • Electrocardiography (heart rhythm) is used to detect arrhythmias.
  • Various respiratory monitors in the nose, mouth, esophagus, around the chest and abdomen allow for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and a variety of other sleep disordered breathing conditions.
  • Oximetry and expired or transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring may be used to detect underlying cardiopulmonary disease.
  • Body position sensors are used to detect the relationship of body position to various sleep disorders.
  • Video monitoring is used elucidate various parasomnias such as somnambulism.
  • Penile tumescence monitoring is used to elucidate the etiology of erectile dysfunction.
  • Upper airway pH is used to detect both Laryngopharyngeal Reflux and gastric reflux.
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or Bi-Level (dual-level Positive Airway Pressure) entails a mask being worn over your nose to treat sleep disordered breathing.