If your doctor suggests you undergo a sleep test (or as it is called a polysomnography), you may be wondering what is involved in this test and what to expect. Sleep tests help doctors diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and nighttime behaviors like sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder. Often these disorders cannot be identified with a normal office visit—your doctor needs to gather more conclusive evidence while you’re asleep.
A sleep test is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor you while you sleep to see what’s happening in your brain and body. For this test, you take a kit home and set up the Sleep test leads on you and sleep in the comfort of your own bed.
The data from your sleep test will usually be taken by a technologist, and later evaluated by your doctor. This may take up to two weeks, when you’ll schedule a follow up to discuss the results.