Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Polysomnogram: What's That?

Big words like polysomnogram are intimidating but are really quite simple when you know what they mean. A polysomnogram is an overnight sleep study that is administered to test for various different sleep disorders. It is a common procedure that is used to diagnose sleep apnea.

More specifically, a polysomnogram monitors the biophysiological changes your body undergoes during sleep. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Brain waves
  • Heart activity
  • Breathing
  • Eye activity
  • Leg movements


This comprehensive list of bodily activities is closely monitored in order to paint a complete picture as to what your body experiences when you are asleep. An abnormality in any of these activities can combine to contribute to various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.

A polysomnogram is usually performed at a hospital or a sleep center. You will go to the sleep center or hospital at night and your sleep will be monitored during your normal bed time. A series of sensors and wires will gently be placed on your skin while you sleep to monitor your body's activity during your slumber. A doctor will come in to reattach sensors if they become dislodged during sleep. The sensors will also have to be removed if you need to go to the bathroom during the middle of the night.

After your sleep study, Dr. Shapira will analyze the results and will determine what variety of sleep disorder that you may have. It can take up to two weeks for you to receive the results of your sleep study.

If Dr. Shapira determines that you have sleep apnea, it is important to get started on a treatment plan as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is a very serious medical condition.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and live in the Gurnee, IL area, please contact sleep dentist Dr. Ira Shapira today.

posted by Erica at 10:53 AM