Will I have to stay in the hospital overnight for a sleep study?

This question was asked in Clarksville, Tennessee on 03/05/2012.
I would like to know how I can be tested for sleep apnea.

Doctors Answers (2)

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 3/7/2012 1

Your attended sleep study or polysomnogram will usually be in a a hospital or private sleep center and you should plan to be there overnight and then leave for work or home the next day. Diagnostic equipment will be placed on your body to detect your brain waves, snoring, apneas, heart rate, oxygen saturation and leg movements. You can ask about being tested for sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder by first talking to your primary care physician. They may already have a relationship with a sleep lab or refer you to a sleep specialist to be evaluated for the appropriateness of a diagnostic study in a lab or possible at home.

Farhad Sigari, MD, FACS
Answered on: 3/6/2012 1

Good Question! The gold standard method of diagnosing sleep disorders is a sleep study. The most accurate form of sleep study (polysomnogram (PSG)) is the type in which the patient spends the night in a certified sleep facility (not necessarily a hospital), during which the following are monitored: EKG(heart activity), EEG(brain activity), Oxygen Level, Breathing rate, and limb movement. This is the ideal form and we physicians prefer it as it gives us the most accurate and most comprehensive evaluation of someone's sleep. There are other types of sleep studies that are done in which a patient wears a special monitor at home (there are multiple variations of this type of monitor). However, these can be less reliable or not at accurate as the in-house studies. Having said that, having a detailed history review with a sleep specialist will let you know if a sleep study is warranted and which type is best for your situation.