Having trouble sleeping? If your doctor has ordered a sleep study, here is what you can expect.

young Hispanic woman sleepingA good night’s sleep is as important as healthy eating and getting proper exercise. If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping, we may schedule a sleep study for you after an initial evaluation. There are several different types of sleep studies that can be conducted to assess your sleep condition. You may be a candidate for a sleep study if your evaluation reveals possible sleep apnea symptoms, such as:

  • Chronic snoring.
  • Pauses or gasps during sleep.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times.
  • Trouble falling asleep.

What are the different types of clinical sleep studies?

If you have been recommended for a sleep study, a polysomnogram (PSG) is likely to be ordered. A PSG is an overnight sleep study that records brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, body movement and more.

Your polysomnogram may include three different types of “in-clinic” studies and/or a home study, based on your insurance and physician’s recommendations.


  • This event may be one or two nights. On the first night, you’ll have general monitoring and diagnostic evaluation. If sleep apnea is discovered, you’ll come back for a second night to determine the right air pressure.

CPAP titration

  • If brought back for a second overnight, your sleep tech will determine the right air pressure for you. During this event, you will sleep with a CPAP machine on for the entire stay.

Split-night PSG with CPAP titration

  • This study can be approved either by your doctor’s recommendations and/or your insurance provider’s requirements (if sleep apnea is discovered or strongly suspected during the first part of the night’s study). The second half of the night is used to determine the CPAP pressure needed to offset apnea.

What is a home study?

Some insurance providers require patients to do a home study instead of an in-clinic study. At NCMA Sleep Centers, an in-clinic appointment will be scheduled, where a NCMA sleep tech will fit a modified version of the monitor onto the patient. Afterward, the patient will sleep overnight at home with the monitor. Data will be retrieved afterward to be reviewed by your doctor. Sometimes, there are issues that prevent collecting all the data we need from a home study. If there are two “failed” studies with the at-home device, we then will perform an “in-clinic” stay.

What can I expect after my sleep study is done?

Studies typically take between two to three weeks for data to be transmitted and read by a doctor. Your results may come back sooner. Our front office staff will contact you regarding next steps at the soonest availability.

If a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is recommended, our staff will work to get you set up with a durable medical equipment (DME) company that provides and services safe, reliable CPAP equipment.

Patients using a CPAP machine are typically required to have a one-year compliance check with their doctor. Our office and your DME company will review compliance regulations and keep you informed.

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. With the data from a sleep study, you and your doctor will be able to work out a plan to get you back to more successful sleeping habits.