Sleeping Tests

There are several sorts of sleeping tests, these can assess the time it takes to fall asleep to the overnight structure of sleep; from the timing of night-time automatic behaviour to medical disorders that disrupt sleep. The most common sleeping tests is a sleep study. These can be simple and performed in your own home for some conditions or require an overnight stay in a sleep laboratory for a Polysomnogram.

Simple sleep studies

A simple sleep study will usually monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels, and may include optionally a other channels such as sound ( for snoring) or movements. These tests often do not require supervision and equipment may be set up and worn overnight in your usual bed.




This test which is necessary to monitor your sleep pattern, requires you to spend a night at the sleep laboratory.


One of our experienced nurses or trained technicians will (painlessly) equip you with a series of sensors and bands on your body. Electrodes may be lightly stuck to your face and scalp and under your chin. Bands will be wrapped around your chest and abdomen (tummy). ecg leads will monitor your heart rate, and an oxygen sensor will be attached to your finger.


You will be shown to a room where you will spend the night in one of our comfortable beds. Whilst you sleep, the signals from the electrodes and sensors will be monitored.
The assessments that are carried out during a polysomnography include:


  • electro-encephalography (EEG) to monitor brain waves
  • electrocardiography (ECG) to monitor your heart
  •  electromyography (EMG) to check muscle tone
  •  thoracic-abdominal movements in your chest and abdomen
  • nasal airflow through your mouth and nose
  • pulse oximetry, which measures your heart rate and blood oxygen levels


Sound and video recordings will also record your breathing, snoring, and behaviour during the night.


This night-long test will enable our specialist to establish whether you have normal brain wave activity, breathing patterns and muscle and eye movement, and what may be disrupting your sleep.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

This test is often used to help diagnose narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness.


It takes the form of a questionnaire, which is used to help pinpoint the situations in which you feel sleepy. You will be asked to rank the likelihood that you will fall asleep in situations such as sitting and reading, watching television and travelling as a passenger in a car.


The norm is a score of 10 or below, so a score of 18 or above indicates you have a high level of daytime sleepiness.

Multiple Sleep Latency

The multiple sleep latency test assesses the length of time it takes for you to fall asleep during the day, and may be offered to you after your polysomnography test.


You will be asked to take several naps throughout the day, when our specialist will evaluate how rapidly and easily you fall asleep, and how quickly you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.


If you have narcolepsy, you will fall asleep easily and very quickly.


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