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Diagnostic Tests 2023

Polysomnography: indicações and as é done

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Polysomnography: indicações and as é done
Polysomnography: indicações and as é done

Polysomnography is an exam that serves to analyze the quality of sleep and diagnose sleep-related diseases, and can be indicated for people of any age. During the polysomnography exam, the patient sleeps with electrodes attached to the body that allow the simultaneous recording of various parameters such as brain activity, eye movement, muscle activity and breathing pattern.

Thus, this exam may be indicated by the doctor when the person is very sleepy during the day, when there is a report of apnea or excessive snoring and restless legs syndrome, for example.

This exam is painless and is usually performed in the hospital or in specialized clinics, however in some cases polysomnography can be performed at home using a portable device, requiring the professional to be present during the procedure. carrying out the test.


What is it for

Polysomnography is an exam that is usually indicated to investigate sleep disorders. Thus, the main indications for this exam are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea;
  • Excessive snoring;
  • Insomnia;
  • Excessive sleepiness;
  • Sleepwalking;
  • Narcolepsy;
  • Restless Leg Syndrome;
  • Arrhythmias that occur during sleep;
  • Night terror;
  • Bruxism, which is the habit of grinding your teeth.

In most cases, polysomnography is performed in the hospital or in a clinic specializing in this type of exam, as the person must be monitored throughout the exam. However, in some cases, home polysomnography can also be performed, with a portable device, which, despite not being as complete as the one performed in the hospital or clinic, can be useful in some situations, as long as indicated by the doctor..

Preparing for Polysomnography

To perform the polysomnography, it is recommended to avoid the consumption of coffee, energy drinks or alcoholic beverages 24 hours before the exam, avoid using creams and gels that make it difficult to attach the electrodes and not paint the nails with dark colored nail polish.

Furthermore, it is recommended to maintain the use of usual medication before and during the exam. A tip to make sleeping easier during the exam is to bring comfortable pajamas and clothes, in addition to your own pillow or personal objects.

However, if in the days prior to the exam or on the same day the person has symptoms of flu, cold or other situations that may interfere with the performance and result of the exam, it is recommended that the polysomnography be rescheduled.

How it's made

To perform polysomnography, electrodes are attached to the scalp and body of the patient, in addition to a sensor on the finger, so that, during sleep, the parameters that allow detecting the changes suspected by the doctor are analyzed. Thus, during polysomnography, several assessments are performed, including:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): used to record brain activity during sleep;
  • Electro-oculogram (EOG): allows you to identify which stages of sleep and when they begin;
  • Electromyogram: records the movement of muscles during the night;
  • Airflow from mouth and nose: analyzes breathing;
  • Breathing effort: chest and abdomen;
  • Electrocardiogram: checks the heart rhythm;
  • Oximetry: analyzes blood oxygen rate;
  • Snoring sensor: records the intensity of snoring.
  • Lower limb movement sensor.

Polysomnography is a non-invasive and painless test, and therefore does not usually cause side effects. However, in some people it is possible that there is skin irritation where the electrodes were applied due to the glue used.

Polysomnography result

Polysomnography results are reported in a report that indicates all measured variables and changes identified during the examination. However, it is important that the person has slept at least 6.5 hours with 180 minutes of effective sleep, since less than this time is not enough to perform the assessment, and it is recommended to repeat the test.

Results indicated in the report are respiratory rate and times when there may have been an interruption, changes in eye movements, legs and brain waves. Therefore, it is important that the doctor who requested the polysomnography evaluate all the results so that the best treatment is indicated, if necessary.

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