What Is A Split Night Sleep Study?

Sleep Apnea If your doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea, he or she may recommend a split night sleep study to diagnose and begin treatment at the same time.

In this blog, the board-certified sleep specialists at eos sleep diagnostics explain what’s involved with a split night sleep study, as well as its benefits.

What is a split night sleep study?

A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, is a non-invasive test that’s performed overnight when a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea is suspected. It can also be used to test how well treatments such as a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask are working.

A sleep study electronically transmits and records the following information about what happens to your body during sleep:

  • Breathing patterns
  • Oxygen levels
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Brainwaves
  • Movements
  • Speaking or other noises

A split night sleep study combines a diagnostic test with a therapeutic one during the same night. During the first part of the split sleep study, the above data is recorded. And during the second part of the night, a CPAP titration study is performed to record your breathing patterns while you’re receiving treatment.

What’s involved with a split night sleep study?

You’ll be in a comfortable environment, and each step will be thoroughly explained to you. During the first part of the study, non-invasive sensors will be placed on you to record information about your sleep. You’ll still be able to move during the study.

If sleep apnea is detected to the degree that CPAP or BIPAP/BPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure) treatment is required, this will be administered and adjusted during the second part of the study to find the best settings to treat your sleep apnea. These treatments supply varying levels of air pressure that help keep your airways open as you sleep. Going forward, you’ll use a CPAP or BIPAP/BPAP machine on these settings at home as you sleep.

When is it recommended?

This type of study can be recommended if your doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea. If during the first part of the study it’s discovered or is strongly suspected that you have sleep apnea, you’ll receive treatment during the second half of the study.

What are the advantages of this type of sleep study?

The following are some advantages of having a split night sleep study performed:

  • Time – You’ll be able to have two tests – a regular sleep study and CPAP titration study – performed in the same night.
  • Cost – This type of study eliminates the need for a two-night study, so it’s not as costly.
  • Calibrating effective treatment – During the second part of the test, your CPAP or BIPAP/BPAP machine is calibrated and adjusted to reach the optimal settings to keep your airways open. This will ensure that when you use it at home, it’s already set at the correct levels for your needs.


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