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Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias) (cont.)

Exams and Tests

These are the most important items for parasomnia evaluation:

  • Interview the person and his or her bed partner
  • Review of medical records
  • Elicit details about sleep-wake patterns
  • Medical history
  • Psychiatric history
  • Alcohol and drug-use history
  • Family history
  • Past or current history of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
  • Psychiatric and neurologic interviews and examinations

Polysomnography (sleep test)

This test is usually conducted in a sleep study center. The patient sleeps at the center, and the following parameters are monitored:

  • Electrical activity of the brain (electroencephalogram)
  • Electrical activity of the heart (electrocardiogram)
  • Movements of the muscles (electromyogram)
  • Eye movements (electrooculogram)

These parameters are monitored as the person passes through the various sleep stages. Characteristic patterns from the electrodes are recorded while the person is awake with eyes closed and during sleep. Continuous audiovisual recording monitors physical activity during sleep.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2014
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