Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Polysomnography and Sleep Disorder Centers

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Title: Polysomnography and Sleep Disorder Centers.

Agency: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research/Center for Health Care Technology (Formerly, the Office of health Technology Assessment).

Contact: Ira Green, M.D., Medical Officer; Thomas V. Holohan, M.D., Director, CHCT.

Status: Technology Assessment: Published, 1992.

Language: English.

Primary Objective: To assess the usefulness of polysomnography (PSG) and sleep disorder centers (SDC) for the diagnosis and treatment of certain disorders of sleep.

Methods Used: Review of the literature, consultation with U.S. Public Health Service, NIH and FDA; obtaining expert opinion from individuals and organizations.

Data Identification: References were selected that examined whether PSG was useful in making a more accurate diagnosis in various sleep disorders and whether these results altered therapy that lead to more effective outcomes.

Data Extraction: Trial design, patient selection criteria, the response to treatment and evidence for increased diagnostic accuracy.

Key Findings: Current published data permit the conclusion that PSG performed in SDC is useful for the evaluation of sleep related breathing disorders, and may be useful in suspected cases of narcolepsy, parasomnias, and nocturnal epilepsy, especially in cases wherein other findings are inconclusive or contradictory. In other types of sleep disorders, such as chronic insomnia, the data do not permit firm conclusions regarding the clinical effectiveness of PSG.

Conclusions: PSG is useful for evaluating and treating some, but not all, types of sleep disorders.

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care