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Most people have never heard the word polysomnography before. However, those who suffer from sleep disorders are likely all too familiar with this term. It’s estimated that over 30% of the South African population has a sleeping disorder. There are a wide variety of sleeping disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. Those who do have a sleeping disorder were likely professionally diagnosed at some point or another. Polysomnography can help in this regard. In short, polysomnography (PSG) is a type of sleep study. Here is a bit more information on how polysomnography works and why it’s important:

What is polysomnography?
Polysomnography is a sleep study conducted while a patient is fully asleep. The study measures a variety of factors, including brain waves, skeletal muscle activity, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing rate, and eye movement. In observing the above factors, a PSG is able to monitor when your body switches from light to deep sleep and then again to REM sleep.

Why is polysomnography important?
There are many different types of sleep studies, all conducted for a variety of purposes. However, there is only one purpose for having a PSG performed: to diagnose a sleep disorder. Most people don’t know that they are struggling with a sleep disorder and it’s impossible for them to self-diagnose. That’s why polysomnography is so important! Without having this type of comprehensive sleep study performed, it’s impossible for patients to understand why they aren’t sleeping properly and how to fix the problem. After a PSG is performed, doctors can help patients navigate the different types of treatment. For those suffering with sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders, a CPAP machine can be incredibly helpful.

If you are having trouble sleeping or are waking up feeling tired, polysomnography may be the logical next step. Diagnosing your sleep disorder as soon as possible is absolutely crucial. Once a sleep disorder is diagnosed, proper treatments can then be applied.