Overnight Sleep Studies in Melbourne
Find out what’s involved in a formal sleep study or Polysomnogram, what to expect and how to prepare.
Often, the first step in diagnosing and treating poor sleep is an overnight sleeping study, otherwise referred to as a polysomnogram (PSG).
A polysomnogram is a comprehensive, specialised test that helps to determine whether you snore or have a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnoea.
Some sleep studies are performed in the hospital, overnight. Others can be taken home.
If you have not had one of these prior to your consultation, your suitability and need will be assessed and discussed.
What happens during a sleep study?
A diagnostic polysomnogram measures and records body functions and movements while you sleep.
In the evening a sleep technician applies sensors to the body on the legs, chest and scalp. These are linked by wires to a monitoring system.
The purpose is to record and measure:
- Oxygen levels
- Heart rate (ECG)
- Patterns of breathing
- Brain waves (EEG)
- Muscles in the face
- Limb movements
- Wake and sleep cycles
- Sleep positions
While there is no pain or discomfort, the wires do restrict your ability to move away from the bed without help. If patients need to visit the bathroom during a sleep study the wires can be easily disconnected.
Once the observation ends (approximately 6am in the morning) recorded data is analysed to determine the type and quality of sleep and events such as breathing problems that occur during the night.
Therapeutic sleep studies
A therapeutic sleeping study is similar to a diagnostic study although a therapeutic device such as CPAP machine or Mandibular advancement splint (MAS) is added. The purpose is to adjust the device settings to help patients achieve optimum sleep.
Home sleep testing
At home sleep testing is available in some areas and we can discuss your suitability at your consultation. For an at-home or portable study, usually the equipment is placed on the patient in the sleep clinic and the patient is driven home by family/friend.
Getting the results
If our team arranges your study, you’ll have a follow up appointment with our sleep specialist after your study to receive results. The data from your polysomnogram will be integrated with the results of your physical examination and symptoms to help form a diagnosis and treatment plan that is tailored to your individual condition and lifestyle needs.
Our sleep specialist is an ENT (ear nose throat) surgeon with additional sub-specialisation in sleep surgery.
The cost of a polysomnogram varies depending on the sleep clinic, the location and the conditions requiring assessment during the study. There are options for Medicare funded studies.
While the setup process for a sleep study commences at a specific time (6pm or 7pm for instance), patients are not expected to sleep before their usual bedtime.
Most patients find they are able to sleep, it just takes a little longer than usual to fall asleep.
Yes, you let the sleep technician know and they will disconnect you from the monitoring equipment.
It’s important to bring a number of items to a sleep study, although the clinic you visit will provide detailed information:
- CPAP equipment or MAS device if applicable
- Your own pillow
- Comfortable, loose sleepwear
- Prescription glasses, hearing aid, walking frame if needed
- Current medications
- A book or computer/tablet
Monash Children’s Sleep Centre