Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) includes various conditions caused by problems with respiration during sleep. The most common type of SDB is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The number of people with SDB is increasing - mainly due to population aging, rising rates of obesity, and growing numbers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Improved public and physician awareness of the health risks associated with sleep disorders is also contributing to the growing demand for sleep studies.
Level I sleep studies, or polysomnography, involve overnight testing in a sleep laboratory with a trained health care professional in attendance. Polysomnography is the reference standard for the diagnosis of SDB because it captures many different types of physiological data and can distinguish both OSA and other sleep disorders.