What Types Of Tests Are Performed At Sleep Clinics?

Health & Medical Blog

There are many reasons why people may not get the proper amount of sleep. Stress from working too many hours, raising a family and having an extremely busy schedule can make getting enough rest every day very difficult. However, some people have certain medical conditions that prevent them from getting enough sleep. These conditions can usually be diagnosed by getting tested at a sleep clinic. These are some of the different types of tests that are performed at sleep clinics.


A polysomnogram is given to those patients that may have a sleep disorder. This is one of the most common tests that are given at a sleep clinic. For this test, the patient is required to stay overnight at the sleep clinic. During the test, the patient is connected to machines that monitor breathing activity, brain activity and muscle activity. Any changes in these activities are documented while the test takes place.

Central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, hypoventilation, REM behavior disorder, and idiopathic hypersomnia are among some of the sleep disorders that can be diagnosed by this test.

Multiple Sleep Latency Tests

Another test that is often given at sleep labs is a multiple sleep latency test. It is usually given the next day after a patient has completed an overnight sleep study and takes a full day to complete. The patient takes a nap two hours after waking up from the overnight sleep study. Right before the first nap begins, sensors are placed on the patient's face, chin and head so the patient can be monitored while asleep and awake. A total of five naps are to be taken by the patient with each one being two hours later than the last one.

Once the patient goes to sleep, he is allowed to sleep for 15 minutes during each nap. The test measures how fast a patient falls asleep and how restful the sleep actually is. This sleep test is used to diagnose patients suspected of having narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia.

CPAP Titration

This sleep test is given to patients who have already been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea or hypoventilation. During this overnight test, the patient will wear a nasal mask that is connected by a tube to an air pressure generating machine.

The breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels, brain waves and arm and leg movements will also be monitored through sensors that are attached to the patient. The air pressure is adjusted as needed to allow the patient to gain the most restful sleep. This test provides the results of what the level of air pressure needs to be on the CPAP machine the patient will be using at home.

Having sleep tests done at a sleep clinic can make a great improvement in the amount of rest a patient gets. Once a doctor has the proper diagnosis for the patient, treating a sleep disorder is much easier. If you're interested in getting a sleep diagnosis, talk to a sleep clinic, like the clinic at Elkview General Hospital.


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