POLY 3021
Polysomnography Instrumentation

3.0 Credits


This course introduces the student to the instrumentation and electrical principles and practices that the polysomnographer must understand. While electrical safety and ancillary equipment encountered in sleep laboratory are covered, the student will also cover the internal workings and calibration of the polygraph. Amplifiers and filters will be emphasized along with basic tracings and some of the artifacts that may appear and influence ones interpretation of the sleep study. Also, the international "10-20" system of electrode placement will be introduced.

Delivery Method



Completion of POLY 3011 and a health professional diploma is strongly recommended.


After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Outline the fundamental principles of electricity and describe the hazards, features, and protocols of electrical safety.
  • Describe bioelectrical potentials, polygraphs, calibration, electrode placement, signal derivation, and EEG tracing.
  • Describe the structure and function of ancillary equipment and how it is used to monitor and collect data.

Course Outline

Module A: The Role of the Sleep Technologist

  • Understand the three levels of sleep technology.
  • Understand the minimum competencies required by the technologist in all three levels.

Module B: Electricity and Electrical Safety

  • Understand the basics of electricity.
  • Understand electrical safety.

Module C: Instrumentation

  • Understand bioelectrical potentials.
  • Describe the principles of signal amplification.
  • Understand calibration.
  • Describe the international 10-20 system of electrode placement.
  • Understand signal derivation.
  • Recognize the presence and origin of artifacts found in the electroencephalographic (EEG) tracing.

Module D: Ancillary Equipment

  • Understand the ancillary equipment used in polysomnography.
  • Understand monitoring equipment and methods of data collection.

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

This is a companion course to POLY 3011. Therefore, the materials package for this course will not include any materials that were required in POLY 3011.

If you did not take POLY 3011 and don't already own the required materials, please be aware that you will need to purchase them. To do so, contact OLMaterials@tru.ca or phone 1.888.663.1653.

1. Mattice, C., Brooks, R., Lee-Chiong, T. (Eds. in Chief). Fundamentals of Sleep Technology. 2nd Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.
Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-4511-3203-8 / 1-4511-3203-4

Additional Requirements

Computer with Internet is required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through Blackboard's "Mail" tool or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


Students must complete two midterm examinations and one final examination (which you write under strict invigilation conditions). The final exam consists of multiple-choice questions.

Midterm 1 25%
Midterm 2 35%
Final Exam 40%

In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the final mandatory examination and 50% overall.

Students applying this course towards any TRU Health Care program may be required to obtain a minimum 60% on the course overall to meet program requirements.