What are the risks of sleep studies

A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, involves various medical tests conducted simultaneously while a person is asleep. These tests assess specific sleep characteristics and aid in diagnosing sleep disorders.

Reasons for undergoing a sleep study include:

  1. Difficulty falling or staying asleep regularly.
  2. Snoring issues or reports of breathing pauses or gasping during sleep.
  3. Experiencing restless legs or sensations prompting leg movement at night.
  4. Persistent morning tiredness impacting daily functioning.
  5. Prolonged sleepiness and fatigue lasting more than two to three weeks.

Sleep studies are generally painless, although skin irritation from electrode glue may occur temporarily. There are typically no other risks associated with these studies, and any irritation typically resolves after sensor removal.

Before the procedure, the sleep clinic doctor will:

  1. Explain the procedure and address any questions.
  2. Possibly recommend sleep restriction, avoiding naps, and providing medication information.
  3. Suggest abstaining from caffeine-containing products and sedatives before testing.
  4. Provide a sleep questionnaire or diary to complete.
  5. Recommend showering before the study and avoiding lotions or oils on the skin.

During the procedure:

  1. Electrodes will be placed on the head and body for monitoring.
  2. Devices for measuring oxygen levels and airflow will be applied.
  3. Room temperature will be adjusted for comfort.
  4. Monitoring will begin before sleep, with nap periods or wakefulness tests as needed.
  5. After completion, electrodes and devices will be removed.

Post-study, no special care is typically needed, and results may take several days. However, the sleep clinic doctor may offer specific instructions based on individual circumstances.