Sleep Study Preparation

Before coming to the Sleep Diagnostic Center you should shower and wash your hair. Use minimal hair care and skin products. You will pack like you would if you were planning to stay over-night at a hotel, bringing sleepwear, toiletries and any medications you may need.

You should avoid caffeine in the afternoon before your study and do not have a nap. Eat a normal-size dinner before your appointment.

The most common worry people have is that they will not be able to sleep in a strange environment or with the leads used to monitor during the study. Each person has a separate room with a private restroom and shower. The wires are attached so that you can sleep in the same position as you normally do at home and you are reasonably free to move around. Some people feel more comfortable with their favorite pillow or blanket from home.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my study?

Please contact the Sleep Diagnostic Center as soon as possible if you need to change your appointment. A private bedroom with bathroom will be reserved for you for the entire evening. A sleep technologist or respiratory therapist will be assigned to monitor your study throughout the night. Late cancellations or no-shows result in empty bedrooms and staff being sent home. Please allow as much time as possible when cancellation cannot be avoided.

Why do I need a sleep study?

Sleep isn’t just “time out” from daily life. It is an active state important for renewing our mental and physical health each day. At least 84 disorders of sleeping and waking lead to a lowered quality of life and reduced personal health. Sleep disorders are linked to such health problems as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Stroke, Depression, and even Diabetes. A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram is needed to fully understand your sleep and any problems with it. We need to look at various brain activities and body systems and their relationships throughout the night. After the study, a sleep specialist will review and interpret the record to help you and your healthcare provider understand your specific sleep patterns. Treatment recommendations will be made if evidence of a sleep disorder is found.

Why to I have to come back for a second study?

Sleep Apnea is one of the most frequently recognized sleep disorders. Patients suffering from sleep apnea report many of the following symptoms: witnessed pauses in their breathing, loud snoring, restless sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, memory impairment, and lack of concentration. Patients with sleep apnea suffer from repetitive periods of partial or complete closure of the airway. These closures, known as apneas, are treated with positive airway pressure delivered through a nasal mask. Patients who test positive for sleep apnea need to return for a second study to determine what type of mask and what level of pressure will be needed.

Routine diagnostic study

When arriving on the evening of your study you will change into your sleep-wear then the technician will prepare you for the study. Electrodes (a small metal cup on the end of an insulated wire) will be attached to your scalp and face. The electrodes are held in place with paste on the scalp and tape on the face. Elasticized bands are placed around your chest and abdomen to detect breathing movement, a sensor will rest beneath your nose to detect airflow and a probe is put on your finger to measure oxygen. All these sensors are connected to a small jack box with a carrying strap. Once the initial setup is completed you can watch TV or read until you are ready to go to bed.

The room intercom is always on. If you need anything, you simply speak out to your technician. If you need to use the restroom during the study, let your technician know and he/she will disconnect the cable from your jack box and you will be free to move about.

What to bring

  • Something comfortable to sleep in, such as pajamas, robe, or sweat pants and a T-shirt. (If you are scheduled to remain for an additional testing the next day, it is better to bring something that you can wear between naps).
    A favorite pillow if you wish, there will be two pillows provided on each bed plus additional pillows if you need.
  • Something to read in bed before you go to sleep. Personal hygiene items.
  • If you are a current CPAP user please bring your mask with you. Any medication non-prescription and prescription meds you might need to take during if your stay and a list of current meds.

    You should leave valuables such as jewelry and large sums of cash at home.

When you arrive

You will be notified when to arrive prior to night of the study and if you have special sleep requirements notify your technician when you arrive at the center. Special arrangements can be made for shift workers. The sleep technician will attach small electrodes to your skin and scalp, held in place by removable gel and tape. This may take up to an hour. You will be able to relax until bedtime.

  • Each bedroom has its own television, DVD player along with bathroom and shower facilities.
  • Fresh linens are provided in each room on a daily basis.
  • Your spouse may visit until bedtime; children are not permitted to stay overnight unless they are being studied. A parent is allowed to stay with their children in the room. If spouse/caregiver needs to stay to care for the patient, we can accommodate this request with advanced notice.
  • Pets are not permitted to stay overnight. This is a non-smoking facility.
  • There are some restrictions if you are here in the daytime for a nap test so check with your tech.
  • Facilities accessible to persons with disabilities are provided.

What happens in the morning?

Your technician will detach the monitors and there will be some paperwork to complete. You may also shower and prepare for your day if you would like. Coffee, tea and juice are available as well as a danish or cereal breakfast bar. Your doctor will receive your test results when complete.