Diagnosing Sleep Disorders

Sleep studies are the gold standard for evaluating possible sleep disorders. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital offers the full range of nighttime and daytime sleep studies, depending on each patient's needs.

  • Nighttime sleep studies (polysomnography) are performed in comfortable private monitoring rooms in which patients sleep in a bed during their normal sleep hours. Our peaceful, tastefully decorated rooms feature private bathrooms, high-definition TV/DVD, and wireless technology. Sleep specialists place several noninvasive electrodes on the patient's skin and scalp and use sophisticated monitoring equipment to record changes in brain activity, respiration, oxygen levels, heart rhythm, and muscle activity in the face, arms, and legs during sleep.
  • Ambulatory sleep tests are similar to in-laboratory studies, but are more limited. They can be appropriate for some patients who need a sleep study but who prefer to do it at home. During a visit with a sleep specialist, patients are instructed how to wear a portable device at home which records data while they sleep, and they return with the equipment the following morning to submit data for analysis. Similarly, actigraphy is a wrist-watch-style sleep monitor the patient wears for one to two weeks at home to monitor the quantity of sleep.
  • Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWT) are daytime sleep studies performed in a sleep center to measure a patient's degree of drowsiness and/or wakefulness during the day. They are usually done the day following a nighttime sleep study in selected patients.

Video-EEG monitoring may be performed independently or in conjunction with polysomnography to detect and diagnose unusual events or activities during the night, especially seizures.

Our sleep specialists offer patients outpatient visits and conduct overnight sleep studies at a time that is convenient for each patient.