You just got finished with your sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram or a PSG. As a patient, you have a right to receive a copy of that report in the United States. But what’s on the report you get may not be the same report your sleep doctor (Somnologist) gives your Primary Care Physician (PCP). You may get a one or two page report that doesn’t include a lot of data. You want the seven to ten page report with the extra data.
Ask for a full report with condensed graphs and all doctor’s notes.
If they tell you you can’t have a “full” report and that it would be a thousand pages long, tell them thank you and that’s why you are requesting the typical table reports and condensed graphs. That means all the high-rate and medium-rate data for the duration of the full sleep study are condensed into graphs that are the width of a single page. Your study could have been four hours or eight hours. Regardless, it’s made to fit the page width. If you can press them further, ask them for a CD of data from the PSG. That way, if you ever have any questions about the actual data they observed, you’ll be able to ask for a second opinion from another sleep doctor using the actual data they collected. It’s unlikely they’ll give you a copy of the infrared video data, but if it’s frame compressed enough to fit it all on a single DVD with the polysomnography, they might. You won’t be able to read any of the data on the CD or DVD because it will be in a format only their specialized PSG software can read, but another lab will be able to read it.
If you’ve ever had a brain MRI, you can often ask for a CD or DVD that will allow you to view the brain scan right on your own computer. It’s the modern equivalent of an X-ray print. At some point, it might be nice if sleep labs would include a reader on a CD or DVD that would allow you to view the data for that particular PSG, just like a modern MRI. We’re not there yet.
Not all sleep labs use the same software, but they are similar enough that you should see the same kinds of things showing up from lab to lab in a typical report sent to your PCP.
These are things to expect in a report:
As an extra part or perhaps as a separate study, you may also have had a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT).
This may include:
In general, this will be much shorter, since the consideration is more about ease of sleep onset than it is about titration — about one or two pages.