Geriatric Sleep Disorder Workup

Updated: Aug 13, 2019
  • Author: Glen L Xiong, MD; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
  • Print

Approach Considerations

After a detailed history, a clinician may find it necessary to refer the patient to a sleep disorders center for evaluation of sleep apnea. A full-night polysomnogram records brain waves by electroencephalography (EEG); eye movement by electro-oculography (EOG); chin muscle tension and leg movements by electromyography (EMG); heart rate by electrocardiography (ECG); and blood oxygen saturation levels by pulse oximetry.

Portable recorders are also used as screening tools. These devices are placed on patients in the afternoon, and patients are then sent home to sleep on their beds at night. These systems are more convenient and less expensive than a laboratory polysomnogram.

Ferritin levels of less than 50 ng/mL have been found to be present in elderly patients with restless legs syndrome.