Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Neurological Sleep Study (Polysomnography)

Sleep studies such as a Polysomnography are used to monitor brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, muscle tone, and breathing pattern while you sleep.

To book offline, call our Neurology centre directly on: 02036532045

Enquiries: bookings.neurology@onewelbeck.com

What is a sleep study?

A neurological sleep study will be recommended if you are showing signs of having a neurological sleep disorder. Sleep studies are used to monitor brain activity, heart rate, muscle tone, eye movements and breathing patterns while you sleep.

The test involves the use of disc electrodes and sensors secured with tape or paste. You will take the appropriate equipment home for one night.

Do I need to do anything ahead of having a sleep study?

Please eat and take medication as normal unless advised otherwise. Please bring a list of your medication with you. Your hair should be clean and free of hair products when you attend. Because the equipment will not allow you to pull clothing over your head it is advisable to wear shirts with buttons or zippers.

What happens when I visit OneWelbeck Neurology for a sleep study?

The investigation will be carried out by a clinical physiologist.

There is a 45–60-minute preparation which involves the physiologist attaching small disposable discs onto your head using a sticky, water-soluble paste. The scalp and skin will be cleaned with a gritty cream before electrode is attached.  Additional electrodes will be applied on the shoulder area to record heart rate and on chin and calf muscles to monitor muscle activity.  Breathing bands will be applied across the chest and belly areas.

Additional sensors will be placed under your nose and on your finger – full instruction will be provided.

Please inform the physiologist if you have any allergies to latex or plaster tape before the procedure.

Once the discs are in place the brain activity will be recorded. The physiologist will make sure that the recording instruments work. You can then leave the department and follow your usual activity while the machine records.

Using sleep study equipment at home

Full instructions and a demonstration of the equipment will be given when you come to the department on the day of your appointment. The most important points to remember are:

  • When setting up the camera at home, make sure that it is in a safe, stable position away from children and pets. It is important it is not interfered with while it is recording.
  • Plug the video camera into the mains power to keep it fully charged.
  • Make sure you are clearly visible on the camera.
  • Press the record button as instructed.
  • Press the event marker (button) as instructed and write in the diary if you have an event.
  • Do not shower or bathe during monitoring. The equipment must not get wet.
  • You will not be able to leave your home while you are having the Home VT recording.
  • The video camera will be constantly recording, so please make any family members or visitors, including children, aware they will be recorded if they are in view of the camera.
  • When you consent to this test, you agree to the Clinical Physiologist and Consultant Neurophysiologist being able to view the whole video with sound.
  • The home video equipment is a medical device, which is your responsibility from when you leave the Neurophysiology department until you return to hospital. This includes travelling to and from your home and the time it stays in your home. If an event or seizure occurs at home, it is very important you follow your seizure care plan if you have one in place.
  • Fill in the sleep diary in the morning.

Follow-up and results

When you return to OneWelbeck Neurology on your second visit the recording will be stopped. The discs are removed using warm water. You may then continue immediately with your normal activity. There may be a small amount of paste left in your hair which will wash away with water and shampoo.

The results of the test will not immediately be available for you because the recordings need to be studied by a physician. They will write within a few days to your consultant who will then discuss the findings with you.



Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.


Doctor Referral Only

You will generally need to get a referral letter from your NHS GP, Private GP, or other doctor to access this service or treatment. Find out more including how we can assist you


Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.


Consultation Required

For this treatment you will need to have a 1-to-1 consultation at OneWelbeck first. To book in with our team of expert clinicians or to find out more about the process contact the relevant centre team.