Polysomnographic sleep record
An investigation called a polysomnograph or polysomnographic sleep record is performed at the request of the attending physician usually in a hospital department. It is occasionally performed in the patient's home. Its aim is to study sleep physiologically by simultaneously recording cardiac, muscular, cerebral and respiratory data.
The polysomnographic sleep record - the process
The investigation is used for awareness or sleeping problems - respiratory pauses during sleep, daytime drowsiness, excessive snoring or persistent fatigue - which need to be confirmed and even quantified. The doctor can also request the investigation if he/she suspects a sleep-related, disorder such as narcolepsy.
The investigation procedure
The sleep polysomnograph recording is performed over a night spent in hospital in a specially reserved bedroom. The patient is monitored by an infra-red camera overnight. The patient usually wears a nose mask connected to a continuous positive pressure instrument. The medical team also places multiple electrodes over the patient's body: on their chin, forehead, temporal areas, fingers, chest and abdomen....
These are used to map the cycles of the patient's sleep and its different phases. In particular they enable all of the related physiological variables to be recorded. Neurologically, by recording the electrical activity of the brain (from an electroencephalogram or ECG), muscle (by an electromyogram) and also blood parameters, respiratory rate and heart beats, etc.
The doctor then monitors the patient's progress overnight from another room on a television, display monitor, DVD recorder-player and a computer. The examination therefore lasts over a period of 10 to 12 hours between arriving at the hospital and leaving the following morning.
Possible risks of the sleep polysomnograph recording
The investigation is painless and non-invasive. It has no specific risks... especially as the patient is under close supervision.
Source: Perpignan Hospital Centre
The sleep polysomnograph recording is used particularly to establish the cycles of the patient's sleep and its different phases. © Prof Yves Dauvilliers