31 East Darrah Lane
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

A nocturnal polysomnogram, also known as just PSG, is one of the sleep tests that are used in the process of diagnosis and/or treatment of sleep disorders. There are some symptoms of sleep disorders that may lead your physician to ordering a polysomnogram, among which you can find excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, gasping/choking during sleep, and excessive movements during sleep.

What to Expect During a Sleep Study

On the day of your sleep study, you will typically arrive at the sleep center at 9:30 pm. After this, the technologist will hand in a brief questionnaire for you to complete, and let you change into your bedtime attire. The technologist at Sleep and Wellness Medical Associates will attach numerous sensors and electrodes to you, sensors which are tied together and plugged into a lightweight portable box that you can carry over your shoulder with ease. You shouldn’t worry about this process, as it’s painless.

Following this, once you are in bed and the equipment has been calibrated, you will try to fall asleep exactly as if you would at home. Please bear in mind that you need to visit the restroom at any time, the technologist can quickly and easily disconnect the box from the computer, allowing you to get out of bed. In addition to this, if you have previously been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), you will also need to wear a device called CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure), which will deliver forced room air to your airway. The technologist will increase the amount of air you receive until you no longer snore and your airway remains free from obstruction. The tests typically finish at 6:00 am.

How to Prepare for the Sleep Study

First of all, please avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption several hours prior to the test. Following this, it’s advisable to shower prior to the test to allow for good conduction of your body’s natural electrical signals to the electrodes, which will be applied to areas of the face and scalp. Patients are asked to remove makeup prior to the test, and to please avoid using lotions. Telling your sleep specialist about any medications that you take is of high importance, as this will be taken into account and you will likely receive specific instructions about any changes that may be required during the day of your polysomnogram. In most cases, you will take all medications as usual, even sleep aids that you routinely take.

What Happens if I Don’t Sleep?

While there are many patients who are afraid that they won’t sleep and that the test will be rendered inconclusive, it is actually uncommon for patients to have excessive difficulty falling asleep. However, some difficulty is expected due to the foreign sleep environment and the consciousness of the equipment. In terms of the test itself, patients can sleep in the position they prefer to. And it’s important to know that, even if there is only a few hours of sleep during a polysomnogram, there is often enough data to diagnose a sleep disorder if one is present. At  Sleep and Wellness Medical Associates, we understand that the test is not designed to be a carbon-copy of your typical night’s sleep. In addition to this, patients are allowed and often spend time watching television or reading prior to the start of the test as a means to unwind.

What Happens if I Have to Work in the Morning?

Most patients are ready to leave Sleep and Wellness Medical Associates’ center within 15 minutes of the test’s conclusion. Additionally, electrode conduction paste residue is water-based, meaning that it can be easily removed in the shower. And, when needed, accommodations can typically be made to allow for an even earlier departure for patients who have early work schedules, so please make sure to inform this to the technician.

Will the Technologist be Watching me all Night?

While video recording takes place when doing a polysomnogram, it isn’t typically useful during the test itself, so there will be a technologist monitoring the signals produced by the sensors and electrodes.