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Sleep Studies (PolysomnogramsPSG)


A sleep study is used to diagnose various sleep disorders, most commonly obstructive sleep apnea. Sensors are used to measure brain waves, breathing efforts, snoring, heart rate and rhythm, and muscle movements. Audio and video are also recorded to aid in the diagnosis of sleep disorders. The study is attended by a trained polysomnography technologist, recorded and later viewed by a Board Certified Sleep Physician. A page or screen of data is created for every 30 seconds of the study. Some studies can have over 1,000 pages of data. For more information about sleep studies and other sleep disorders, please go to the following links:

What to expect

Once you have discussed your sleep issues with your physician and he or she recommends a sleep study, your physician will send an order with an office note to the Sleep Center stating your sleep issues.

Your order and office note are received and sent to the sleep physician for review and approval. This is required for Sleep Center accreditation and insurance purposes.

The Sleep Center at Mary Lanning Healthcare contacts you to set up your sleep study appointment. You are asked many questions to aid in registering you for your study. This allows the sleep technicians to better understand any special needs you might have on the night of your study. The sleep center is open 7 nights a week, with patients coming in at either 7:15pm or 8:30pm -- allowing the sleep technician to get their first patient set-up and comfortable before the second patient arrives.

If it has been more than seven days since your physician sent an order for a sleep study and you have not heard from the Sleep Center, please call us at 402-460-5673.

You are sent a packet of information with a seven-page questionnaire and a sleep diary that needs to be completed and brought with you on the evening of your study. This packet is also available online if you would like to print it out from home.

Please arrive at the Emergency Room Entrance at the north end of the hospital at the time requested on the evening of your study. The Emergency Room Clerk will check you in. You will need to provide your insurance information as well as answer some questions. The Sleep Technologist will be notified of your arrival and accompany you to the Sleep Center.

Once in the Center, you are shown to your room. The sleep study is explained in detail and any questions you have are answered.

You are asked to change into your pajamas or sleep wear, answer a few questions, and make yourself comfortable.

The sleep technician then begins to attach the sensors. Please inform the sleep technician if you are allergic or sensitive to adhesives or tapes. There are other alternatives that can be used, if necessary.

The Sleep Center is a latex-free environment.

To accurately measure brain waves and the quality of sleep, small metal button sensors are attached to the scalp (no hair will be removed), approximately ½-inch from your eyes, and to the chin using a conductive paste and gauze or tape. No electrical currents or shocks are given though these sensors. Some discomfort may be felt when alcohol swabs or skin prep gel is used to prepare the skin area for sensors.

Small sensors are attached to the chest below the right collarbone and the left breast to monitor heart rate and rhythm.

Elastic stretch bands are placed around the chest and abdomen to measure breathing efforts.

A sensor to measure the oxygen level in the blood is attached to a finger.

A small sensor is placed under the nose, above the top lip, to measure airflow from the mouth and nose. (This sensor measures flow via temperature.)

A small canula is placed in the nose or in the nose and mouth to measure airflow. (This sensor measures the airflow via pressure.)

Small electrodes are attached to the legs to measure muscle movements.

You are then allowed to rest in your room until you are ready to go to bed. The technician allows you go to bed close to your normal bedtime; however, collection of data must start by 11pm.

If the diagnostic procedure reveals a condition of sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bi-level PAP (BiPap), or oxygen therapy may be administered. These treatments need to be tried for a period of time, as tolerated. These treatments are a common, medically accepted procedure.

If these treatments are not started, it does not mean you do not have sleep apnea. It just means you did not meet the criteria necessary for the technician to administer treatment.

The study is then scored. Sleep is staged, breathing events are marked, movements are evaluated, and the heart rate and rhythm are assessed.

The study then goes to the sleep physician who interprets the study and sends the results to your physician.

You should get your study results within two weeks. If you do not hear from your physician within two weeks, please call your physician’s office.


Bring the completed questionnaire and sleep diary sent out prior to your study on the night of your sleep study. This helps our sleep physician when he reviews your sleep study.

In order to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to obtain the best sleep study, our technical staff has established the following guidelines:

  • Have dinner before you come for your overnight study.
  • Avoid a nap the day of your study.
  • Bring a list of all current medications and dosages. Also, be sure to bring all medications that you will need for the night. The technicians CAN NOT obtain medications for you.
  • DO NOT use caffeine or alcohol after 2:00pm on the day of your overnight study unless your physician advises you otherwise.
  • The hook-up procedure may involve some waiting. Please bring something to do, such as a book or magazine. Each room is equipped with a color TV.
  • Bring comfortable night clothing to sleep in.
  • If you have a pillow that you prefer using, please feel free to bring it with you, but do not forget to take it home with you in the morning.
  • Because of the equipment and electrodes used, we recommend that you are freshly bathed and have shampooed your hair. We also request that you DO NOT USE any hair products (oils, gels, mousse, or hairspray) or lotion on the night of the sleep study.
  • If you were referred for problems related to excessive daytime sleepiness or drowsy driving, make sure someone drives you to and from our facility.
  • You will need to arrive at the Mary Lanning Healthcare Visitor Entrance on the east side of the hospital at your scheduled time.
  • When you come to the Visitor Entrance, stop at the hospital operator and let him/her know you are here for a sleep study. The Sleep Center staff will come and get you for your study.
  • A respiratory or sinus infection may interfere with our ability to obtain true results. Please let us know before you come in for your study and we will reschedule when the infection has cleared.

Please call the Sleep Center at 402-460-5673 if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

If you need to cancel your sleep study, please contact the Sleep Center at 402-460-5673.

Post study

Your study ends at approximately 6:00am, unless you need to get up earlier, or wake-up earlier and want to end the study.

It takes a few minutes to remove the leads and you are asked to answer a post-sleep study questionnaire.

There is paste residue left in your hair and on your face that comes off with warm water. There is a shower in your room and you are welcome to take a shower before you leave. Notify the technician so he/she can provide you with extra towels and anything you might need for your shower.

Once you are ready to leave, the technician leads you back to the Visitor Entrance and answers any questions.

The technician CAN NOT give you the results of your sleep study.

Within two weeks, you should get results from your physician. If you do not, please call your physician’s office.

Thank you for choosing the Mary Lanning Healthcare Sleep Center for your sleep study needs. If you have any questions, please contact your physician or call us at 402-460-5673.