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A polysomnogram is a procedure that records a variety of body
functions during sleep, including eye movement, muscle activity, and electrical
activity of the brain. This test is done as part of a series of sleep tests to
diagnose sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, and problems staying awake or
Polysomnograms usually are done in a hospital sleep lab. They are
monitored by a trained sleep lab technician. Small metal discs called
electrodes are attached to the person's head and body to record brain activity,
eye movements, muscle movements, heart rhythm and rate, limb movements, and
snoring. There is no pain or physical discomfort associated with these tests.
Polysomnogram recording equipment and video monitors record the person's
movements and activities during sleep. The technician is in a separate room
monitoring the test.
Polysomnogram test results are typically available in 1 to 2
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
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