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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

POLY 3031: Principles of Polysomnography

This course is designed to provide the most current information on the technical and clinical aspects of polysomnography, as well as the methodology used by the polysomnographic technologist in the sleep laboratory. This course includes patient interaction and describes the capture of bioelectric activity, overnight recording techniques, the interpretation of data and data presentation for the compilation of the final report.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the basis of the 10-20 system of electrode placement and its advantages, measuring procedures, errors and possible modifications.
  • Describe the general methodology of staging sleep studies.
  • Outline the standardized scoring system for sleep stage scoring.
  • Define, classify, and describe artifacts and their elimination.
  • Describe the physiological aspects leading to arrhythmias during sleep.
  • Give an overview of the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and describe the methods used for administering and interpreting MLST.
  • Recognize the need for initial calibrations before an all-night study and describe the presentation of the data provided in a final report.

Course topics

  • Module A: The International 10-20 System of Electrode Placement
  • Module B: Methodology for Staging Sleep
  • Module C: Sleep Stage Scoring-The American Academy of Sleep Medicine System
  • Module D: Artifacts
  • Module E: ECGs and Cardiac Arrhythmias During Sleep
  • Module F: Measuring Daytime Sleepiness
  • Module G: Reports
  • Module H: Event Definitions
  • Module I: Pediatric Polysomnography
  • Module J: Interaction Between Patients and Technologists, and Administrative and Safety Issues

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for the course:

  1. Harner, P., & Sannit, T. (2016). A review of the International Ten-Twenty System of Electrode Placement. Grass Instrument Company, Astro Med, Inc.3
    Type: Pamphlet

Students will need to source the following on their own:

  1. Berry R.B, Brooks R., Gamaldo, C.E., Harding, S.M., Lloyd, R.M., Marcus, C.L. and Vaughn, B.V. The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events: Rules, Terminology and Technical Specifications Version 2.4. (2018). Darien IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

    Note: To purchase the above textbook use the link: AASM Scoring Manual - American Academy of Sleep Medicine

The following textbook would have been purchased in POLY 3011. If students did not take POLY 3011 and/or don't already own the required textbook, they will need to purchase it. To do so, please contact Enrolment Services at or 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada), 250.852.7000 (Kamloops, BC), and 1.250.852.7000 (International).

  1. Mattice, C., Brooks, R., Lee-Chiong, T. (Eds.) (2020). Fundamentals of Sleep Technology (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1-9751-1162-5


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% on the final man¬datory examination.

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.

Midterm #1 – Modules A, B, and C 20%
Midterm #2 – Modules D, E, F, G, and H 30%
Final Exam - Modules A-J (mandatory) 50%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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