Sleep Studies

Sleep is the reboot button your body needs after a long day, but a lot of people can’t sleep well at night. You might have a sleep disorder if you spend most of your nights tossing and turning in bed, have trouble breathing at night, or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. 

A survey on the attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors around sleep in 13 countries by consumer electronics and healthcare technology stalwart Philips reveals that 45% of people are dissatisfied with their sleep. Furthermore, an alarming 70% of respondents report experiencing new sleep challenges since the beginning of the pandemic. Studies have also linked a higher gender-specific incidence with women more likely to struggle with sleep issues. For instance, the risk for insomnia in women is up to 40% higher than in men. In 2014, given the trends in the prevalence of sleep disorders in the US, the CDC declared insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. The magnitude of the issue remains a global concern.

Polysomnography, multiple sleep latency test, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) titration, and split night sleep study are sleep tests done within a hospital or at a sleep center. These tests monitor what happens to your brain and body while you sleep.

Sleep studies can help diagnose some of the most common sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and sleepwalking.

Getting your sleep disorder diagnosed can help you start a treatment plan that improves the quality of both your sleep and your life.

What Is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study is a non-invasive medical test, through which different sleep-related physiological measurements and observations are done while the patient is asleep.

A sleep doctor assesses your sleep health by tracking your brain waves, measuring blood oxygen levels, monitoring your heart rate, and observing your body movements during sleep.

These sleep observations can be recorded while you’re asleep during the night or during the day for night shift workers who usually sleep during the daytime.

What Are The Different Types of Sleep Studies?

There are 4 common types of sleep studies that evaluate your sleep:


Polysomnography is the standard and most comprehensive sleep study. It is the key test to diagnose most sleep disorders. During polysomnography, you would stay overnight at a sleep clinic or at a hospital. While you sleep, the sleep technician monitors and records:

  • Your breathing (and your snoring)
  • The oxygen levels in your blood
  • Your eye and leg movements
  • Your muscle and brain activities
  • Your heart rate

By monitoring these functions, a polysomnography study observes if the stages of your sleep cycles are disrupted and whether you may have:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Mixed sleep apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)
  • Insomnia
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Titration

A CPAP ventilator device is considered the mainstay of obstructive sleep apnea treatment. Using an air mask, the CPAP delivers pressurized airflow to keep your airway open and the oxygen and air flowing.

During a CPAP titration study, increasing levels of air pressure are administered to you while you’re asleep. Meanwhile, the sleep technician monitors your breathing and blood oxygen levels and calibrates the amount of airway pressure accordingly.

After CPAP titration, the technologist is able to determine the optimal pressure you need to keep the airways patent, and will optimize your machine accordingly.

Split Night Sleep Study

If sleep apnea is highly suspected, a split night sleep study is done by combining polysomnography with CPAP titration within the same night.

The night sleep is split into two halves. During the first part of the night, polysomnography is done to diagnose your sleep apnea. This is followed by CPAP titration to determine how much air pressure can help you treat it.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test

If you sleep a lot during the day, multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT) can be done to diagnose your excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) and inability to stay awake (narcolepsy).

MSLT measures how long it takes for you to fall asleep and how quickly you enter REM sleep during the day.

Can You Diagnose Sleep Disorders at Home?

Some people test for sleep disorders at home by using sleep trackers or an at-home sleep apnea test. However, tests done at home to diagnose sleep problems are not effective enough to accurately diagnose your sleep problems and help you start treatment.

At Mya Care, you can connect for a Sleep Studies Consultation with the best hospitals and doctors worldwide. Our database includes hospitals in Germany, UAE and Spain.


Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. The views expressed are personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mya Care. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials on this page without the prior written permission from myacare.com

About the Author:
Dr. Mersad is a medical doctor, author, and editor based in Germany. He's managed to publish several research papers early in his career. He is passionate about spreading medical knowledge. Thus, he spends a big portion of his time writing educational articles for everyone to learn.