What is an In-Lab Sleep Study?

An In-Lab Sleep Study is a non-invasive, clinician-administered medical test for various sleep disorders including Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, and Circadian Shift Work Disorder. In-Lab Sleep Studies (also known as Polysomnograms) usually use twenty-five (25) sensors taped or attached to the body from the top of your head down to your legs. Movement and sleep position is restricted by the 25 sensors. Testing is performed in a dark, single-patient room in the sleep clinic where your sleep is monitored by a licensed clinician with video and audio monitoring. Compared to a Home Sleep Study’s three (3) sensors, an In-Lab Sleep Study can be more difficult for patients to sleep with and tolerate.

An In-Lab Sleep Study measures:

  • Brain waves and frequencies

  • Chin muscle activity

  • Eye movements

  • Heart rate and rhythm

  • Breathing pattern and disruptions (both nasal and oral)

  • Snoring frequency

  • Oxygen saturation levels

  • Leg movements during sleep

  • Body position during sleep

  • Audio and Video observation of you during sleep by a sleep lab clinician

SleepSomatics is celebrating 20 years serving Austin, providing top-rated sleep testing and treatment since 1999. SleepSomatics testing is accredited and validated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We are also a licensed State of Texas Durable Medical Equipment provider and a certified Independent Diagnostic Testing Facility for the Centers for Medicare Services.

Request an appointment today at SleepSomatics.

Sleep studies can be a big intimidating - but they're important in helping doctors figure out if you have a sleep disorder. So Jane Monzures is trying one out herself to learn why you shouldn't be worried.


  • Are needles used in an In-Lab Sleep Study?

    • No. No needles are used at SleepSomatics for sleep testing.

  • Is In-Lab Sleep Testing covered by health insurance?

    • All health insurance policies have different coverage and restrictions. Increasingly, more health insurances (such as United Healthcare, Humana, Aetna, Cigna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield) are opting for Home Sleep Testing for their patients with suspected sleep apnea. You may contact your health insurance policy’s customer service to inquire about specific questions or request an appointment with SleepSomatics.

  • Do I need a physician referral/order for in-clinic sleep testing?

    • Yes, you need a physician order for in-clinic sleep testing if you choose to use your health insurance or choose to work with an American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited sleep disorders center like SleepSomatics.

  • How long is an In-Clinic Sleep Study?

    • An In-Clinic Sleep Study (or Polysomnogram) is usually covered for six (6) hours of evaluation. If you usually sleep longer, consider a Home Sleep Study, which allows you to sleep longer and to your normal sleep schedule and environment.

  • What if I don’t fall sleep during my In-Lab Sleep Study?

    • Health insurance policies increasingly do not cover repeat In-Lab Sleep Testing for patients who sleep poorly. In fact, light sleepers or insomnia patients are not generally recommended for In-Lab Sleep Testing (Polysomnography). Talk to your physician or provider about a three (3) night Home Sleep Study.

  • Can I take a sleep aide during my test?

    • You should maintain your normal routine (including prescription and over-the-counter medication usage). Changes to your normal routine may reduce testing validity.

  • What if alcohol / marijuana usage is my normal sleep or lifestyle routine?

    • Minor alcohol usage may be consumed in the evening if this is part of your normal sleep or lifestyle routine.

    • This is a medical diagnostic procedure. Intoxication is prohibited and may present safety risks or issues for patients who disregard these directions.

  • How do I fall asleep with 25 sensors attached to me and someone watching me on a camera in the dark?

    • An In-Lab Sleep Study (or Polysomnogram) is generally recommended for patients whose sleep disorder is so severe that sleep with excess sensors in a foreign environment is not prohibitive. If you are a lighter sleeper, consider a Home Sleep Study.

  • What does this device test / what are the sensors detecting?

  • May I sleep nude / partially-nude during testing?

    • For both male and female patients, please wear at least a t-shirt or pajama top and bottom to sleep with the device.

  • Can I drive myself to an In-Clinic Sleep Study?

    • Patients with excessive sleepiness, drowsiness or sleep attacks while driving, or history of automobile accidents should consider being dropped off and picked up by a family member, friend, taxi, or RideShare service to their In-Clinic Sleep Study.