What Is a Polysomnography?

Polysomnography is a technical term for a sleep study. The test tracks and records many sleep elements while a person sleeps, including:

  • oxygen levels in the blood
  • brain waves
  • eye and leg movements
  • heart rate and respirations

While polysomnography is one of the most widely used kinds of sleep studies, it’s not the only one. The Alice NightOne sleep study is a popular at-home sleep study.

What Is the Alice NightOne Sleep Study?

Alice NightOne is a branded at-home sleep study system from Philips Respironics. Many doctors use the Alice NightOne system for their at-home studies because it’s easy for patients to set up and use, automatically turns on once set up, and indicates how much good data is collected during the study.

Where Are Sleep Studies Conducted?

Where a sleep study is conducted depends largely on the type of study. Polysomnographies are done at hospitals, clinics or sleep testing centers. The purpose of this kind of sleep study is to monitor exactly how a person’s body fluctuates during sleep, and these facilities provide a controlled environment that lets providers get accurate data.

At-home sleep studies aren’t as accurate because the environment isn’t as controlled and the study is conducted by the patient rather than a professional technician or provider. These studies can also provide valuable information, though, because they provide a picture of what a person’s sleep pattern in their home is like.

What Condition Can Sleep Studies Help Diagnose?

Doctors often don’t diagnose sleep disorders solely on the basis of a sleep study, but studies can provide  insights that can indicate a potential diagnosis or confirm a suspected one. Some of the conditions that sleep studies are used to diagnose are:

  • obstructive sleep apnea and other forms of sleep apnea
  • periodic limb movement disorder or restless leg syndrome
  • narcolepsy

Sleep studies are NOT used to diagnose insomnia.

Most patients start with a consultation with a sleep specialist before scheduling a sleep study.

How Long Do Sleep Studies Take?

Most sleep studies that are used to diagnose conditions take a single night, although doctors may occasionally ask patients to go through more than one night of testing. Patients can ask beforehand how long their sleep study will be.