PSG and MSLT are sleep tests that can be used to rule out misdiagnosis.

Home Sleep Tests (HST) can’t detect narcolepsy. A Home Sleep Test is a sleep study tool used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect that you might have narcolepsy, ask a sleep specialist about in-lab diagnostic tests.3


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In-Lab Diagnostic Tests

hospital iconIn order to effectively diagnose narcolepsy, a series of 2 in-lab diagnostic tests are performed. A polysomnography (PSG) test, along with a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), can help assess your symptoms.

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Polysomnography (PSG)
An overnight in-lab test used to diagnose narcolepsy, as well as other sleep disorders. A PSG works by recording your brain waves, oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, and eye and leg movements during the study.4
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Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
A test that is performed on the morning following a PSG. An MSLT is used to diagnose narcolepsy and to measure the degree of daytime sleepiness. It measures how quickly you fall asleep in quiet situations during the day. It also monitors how quickly and how often you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.4 
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What you can expect during your PSG.5

The night of your stay On the night of your sleep study, you'll be given a private room in a sleep center or hospital. The room will be equipped with a video camera and audio system so you and your technician can communicate with each other.

Setting up your sleep tests

Once you get comfortable in bed, your technician will place sensors on your scalp, temples, chest, and legs. These sensors are connected to a computer by wires that are long enough to let you move around in bed. Then a small clip is placed on your finger or ear that will monitor the level of oxygen in your blood.

Your technician will monitor for the following signs of narcolepsy:

  • Brain waves
  • Breathing pattern
  • Eye movements
  • Other vital signs
  • Brain waves
  • Eye movements
  • Breathing pattern
  • Other vital signs
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What you can expect during an MSLT.5

In the morning, following a PSG, an MSLT is performed to determine how long it takes you to fall asleep at 5 preset times throughout the day. While you nap, the electrical activity in your brain and your oxygen levels will be recorded in order to see how they relate to your sleep pattern.

During the test, you will sleep in a darkened private room. The room usually has all the furnishings of home—a bed, bathroom with shower, television, and telephone. The same sensors and devices used for your PSG will be used for your MSLT.

The first of the 5 tests will start at 8:00 AM, with the last test ending at 5:00 PM.

Getting accurate test results

Chances are you probably won't fall asleep as easily or sleep as well at the sleep center or hospital as you do at home. But this shouldn’t have an impact on your test results.

After your sleep tests

Make sure to schedule an appointment for a follow-up visit with your sleep specialist, so you can discuss your results together.
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The content on this site is not meant to replace a conversation with a sleep specialist. A sleep specialist can evaluate your symptoms and make a diagnosis.

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