We conduct several types of sleep studies, some which take place in our sleep lab in our hospital and some which can be done at home. 

Simple sleep study

People whose symptoms suggest they could have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) undergo a simple oxygen sleep study. This involves wearing an oxygen monitor on a finger during sleep and can often be done at home. An easy-to-use monitor is collected from the sleep centre, worn overnight, then returned the next day for a recording of your night's sleep to be downloaded. If the results suggest OSA, you will receive an appointment to come to clinic to be assessed by a sleep specialist and discuss whether treatment is needed.

Respiratory polygraphy

Occasionally a simple sleep study is not sufficient to detect and diagnose different types of breathing difficulties overnight that may cause symptoms. A respiratory polygraphy is a test that can be performed in your own home. This test can diagnose different types of breathing difficulties and assess severity, allowing the correct choice of treatment to be made.

A respiratory polygraphy study involves coming to the hospital to pick up the equipment and then wearing it in bed at home overnight and returning it to the hospital the next day. You will receive a telephone call before your appointment to check waist size and bed time and get up time so the equipment can be set up before collection. You will wear a band around your chest and abdomen to measure movement, a small flow sensor in the nostrils and an oxygen monitor on the finger.

The video below has been developed to demonstrate how to put the equipment on at home as post COVID-19 we are no longer able to offer a face to face appointment to fit the equipment. There will be written instructions included with the equipment to explain things. If you have any questions regarding how to put the equipment on, please ring the sleep lab during office hours on 01223 638168.

A tutorial on how to set-up a home sleep study

Inpatient sleep study

There may be times when a simple home sleep study or home respiratory polygraphy assessment are not enough to diagnose your breathing or sleep difficulties. If so, you will be invited for an overnight stay in our sleep centre at the hospital.

An inpatient stay will allow us to add video to respiratory polygraphy assessment or to conduct a video-polysomnography assessment to help us to diagnose the different types of breathing difficulties or sleep problems you may have.

The video above shows the equipment we will fit to you during your stay.

The video below explains what to expect when visiting the sleep centre for an overnight stay and demonstrates the process of connecting the equipment which will monitor your sleep for your video-polysomnography assessment.

What to expect during your overnight stay for a complex sleep study.

Polysomnography (PSG)

PSG uses sophisticated monitoring equipment to record your brain waves (electroencephalography or EEG) and other vital signs overnight so that we can diagnose sleep disorders and tell us how well you slept on the night of your assessment. It can detect whether your sleep is being disrupted by OSA or limb movements, etc. It may simply confirm that you sleep well overnight.


Joanne undergoes a polysomnography (PSG) to investigate her poor sleep and daytime fatigue.


Daytime tests with further EEG monitoring may be performed the day after your inpatient assessment.

These will be either Multiple Sleep Latency Tests (MSLT) or Maintenance of Wakefulness tests (MWT).

MSLT assess sleepiness and look for easy lapsing into dream sleep which is a feature of narcolepsy

MWT assess ability to stay awake during the day.  They are conducted in a controlled manner to exclude stimulating activities and therefore can be very challenging.


Actigraphy involves wearing a movement monitor, resembling a wristwatch, on your arm or leg for a few days and nights at home. This is used to assess sleep regularity. Actigraphy equipment is posted to a person's home via recorded delivery with straightforward instructions for use and then returned to the sleep centre via a pre-paid envelop supplied in the pack.  Once returned the equipment will be downloaded and analysed.  

Once your tests have been analysed, one of our sleep specialists will contact you to discuss the results. This may not be for a few weeks after your test.