Polysomnography (Sleep Study) - Gwinnett Pulmonary Sleep

Polysomnography Test or Sleep Study

Gwinnett Pulmonary Group has its own nationally-accredited sleep disorder center, Gwinnett Sleep, where we specialize in all types of sleep disorders. Visit our website for more information.


A polysomnography test is a recording that includes measurements used to identify different sleep stages, breathing pattern, blood oxygen level, muscle activity and heart rhythm.


The recording is done by using small metal discs called electrodes applied to the head and the skin with an adhesive. Flexible elastic belts around the chest and abdomen measure breathing. Blood oxygen saturation is measured by a clip on index finger or earlobe. None of these devices are associated with pain, and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible. The recording generally takes between six and eight hours at night, and is performed in a comfortable and quiet private room.


The sleep study and its analysis and interpretation are part of a complex process. Many hours of work are required by specially trained professionals, including sleep technologists who process or “score” the large amount of data collected during the study. The information is then reviewed and interpreted by a physician specialized in sleep medicine. A typical study generally involves more than 800 pages of data, and may require some time to fully process it. The final report is sent to referring physician shortly after the sleep study.

Who Should Take a Polysomnography Test?

Patients who experience symptoms such as loud snoring, daytime fatigue, witnessed pauses in breathing during sleep, or morning headaches may be good candidates for a polysomnography test. Additionally, those with risk factors such as obesity, older age, or a history of heart disease or stroke may benefit from undergoing this test to evaluate their sleep quality and identify potential underlying sleep disorders.

Benefits of Polysomnography Tests

Polysomnography tests offer several benefits in diagnosing sleep-related breathing disorders and other sleep disturbances. One significant advantage is the comprehensive evaluation of various physiological parameters during sleep, including breathing patterns, oxygen levels, brain activity, and muscle tone. This comprehensive assessment allows pulmonary specialists and lung specialists to accurately diagnose conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and periodic limb movement disorder. By identifying these disorders, patients can receive timely interventions and treatments to improve their sleep quality, overall health, and quality of life.

How Polysomnography Tests Aid in Diagnosing Lung Conditions

For individuals with sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea, the test helps identify episodes of airway obstruction and oxygen desaturation, which can contribute to the development or exacerbation of lung conditions such as COPD, pulmonary hypertension, and asthma.


Additionally, sleep-related breathing disorders can lead to systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and cardiovascular complications, further impacting respiratory health. By detecting and treating these sleep disorders early with the help of polysomnography tests, pulmonary specialists and pulmonologists can mitigate the risk of respiratory complications and optimize patient outcomes.


Overall, polysomnography tests serve as an invaluable tool in the comprehensive care and management of lung conditions, allowing healthcare providers to tailor treatment strategies to address both sleep-related issues and underlying respiratory concerns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at Gwinnett Sleep and get tested!

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