What is a polysomnogram?

Seldom will you hear polysomnogram.  Most doctors and patients simple say " sleep test".  The polysomnogram is indeed a sleep test.  It is considered the gold standard of sleep testing. 

There are different levels on polysomnogram testing.  A level 1 polysomnogram is the most detailed and thus far the only level I order. The level 1 polysomnogram  consist of

  1. Monitors placed on the scalp to look at brain wave patterns. 
  2. Monitors at the nostrils and mouth to monitor breathing. 
  3. A microphone may be added to listen for snoring. 
  4. The heart is monitored. 
  5. Body position, blood oxygen level and limb movements are also monitored. 

The entire night is recorded by video camera.  A sleep technician is nearby the entire time you are studied.  The technician is watching information recorded from all the monitors on your body.

A level 1 polysomnogram is useful for detecting almost all sleep disorders.  This is the type of sleep test recommended for children.