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Definition - What does Polysomnography mean?

Polysomnography (PSG) is the clinical study of identifying and observing biorhythms in patients suspected of having sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Patients stay overnight at a sleep study center or hospital where a clinician attaches electrodes on various locations of the body including the chest, head, and legs. The electrodes contain inbuilt sensors that transmit data input to computers, interpreting physiological variables directly related to both rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) phase cycles.

SureHire explains Polysomnography

Many people are afflicted by sleep disorders, causing erratic sleep habits during the night coupled with persistent feelings of daytime fatigue. Polysomnography is a methodical technique that explores many homeostatic functions that regulate the sleeping process. Patients are instructed to forgo stimulants (i.e. caffeine and/or alcohol) and sedatives that might interfere with the circadian sleep rhythm cycle, compromising effective test results.

Throughout the night, clinicians analyze and measure REM and NREM stages, documenting physical and systemic changes corresponding to distinct sleep phases where levels of unconsciousness fluctuate. Reported sleep disturbances such as constant snoring, intermittent episodes of gasping for air, restlessness, and daytime drowsiness lend evidence to particular sleep disorder(s).

Individuals with sleep disorders who avoid proper medical treatment are likely to encounter personal and professional setbacks. Employees may find it increasingly difficult to remain awake contributing to inability to focus on tasks, frequent exhaustion, and impaired memory retention. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, employees with sleep disorders may be eligible to request reasonable accommodations. However, a sleep disorder that imposes economic constraints to the company and/or prevents the employee from fulfilling job description responsibilities are exceptions. Early polysomnography testing allows applicants and/or employees the opportunity to provide employers with medical evidence about the nature of their sleep disorder preventing bias and/or potential liabilities.

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