Center for Sleep Medicine
Preparing for an Overnight Sleep Study
We hope that your experience at the Center for Sleep Medicine will be a pleasant one. Understanding the sleep process and sleep disorders will help you take an active role in your care.
- What do I need to do for the overnight sleep study?
- Should I take my medications?
- What will happen when I arrive at the sleep center?
- What should I expect during the sleep study?
- How will I be able to sleep with all those wires on me?
- Will I be able to get out of bed to use the restroom?
- What happens after my sleep study?
- Can I leave my car at the sleep center overnight?
What do I need to do for the overnight sleep study?
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or napping the day of the test.
- Bring comfortable clothing to sleep in. You may also bring a pillow, if you’d like.
- Eat your normal dinner before you come in.
- Shower and wash your hair. Do not put oils/lotions on your skin. Do not use hair products.
- Bring any medications you may need to take before bedtime.
- You may bring a snack.
Should I take my medications?
Yes, unless specifically instructed by your physician, take your medication as usual. Also, bring any medication you will need during the night or early in the morning. The Sleep Center does not provide medication or snacks. It is important for the Sleep Professionals to know what medications you are taking since many medications can affect sleep.
What will happen when I arrive at the sleep center?
After you are checked into the lab, a technician will greet you and show you to your room. The technician will explain the set-up procedure and answer any questions you may have. You should also inform the technician of any changes in your sleep or specific difficulties that you have not already discussed with your healthcare professional. You will be given time to change into your nightclothes and get ready for bed. There may be a waiting period while the technician applies the electrodes. You may read, watch TV, or relax during this time. If you have a commitment in the morning, be sure to inform the technician so they will be able to make sure you are out early enough in the morning. Otherwise, you can expect to be discharged between 6:00 – 6:30 in the morning.
What should I expect during the sleep study?
A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is a recording that includes measurements used to identify various sleep problems. During sleep testing, small metal disks (called electrodes) are applied to your head with adhesive. The adhesive is easily removed and doesn’t damage your hair. The other electrodes are applied with EKG-type sticky pads. These are necessary to monitor brain waves, muscle movements, breathing, snoring, and heart rate. Soft belts around your chest and waist monitor your breathing. A sensor attached to your finger monitors your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. None of these devices are painful or dangerous and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible.
The sleep study, its analysis, and its interpretation are part of a complex process. After the study sleep, technologists process or “score” the large amount of data collected. A physician specializing in Sleep Medicine then interprets the information. This process is detailed process that may take some time to complete. Please feel free to call us with questions.
How will I be able to sleep with all those wires on me?
The wires are gathered behind you in a ponytail and it is attached to a box about the size of a small Kleenex box. This will enable you to roll over and change positions easily. The technical equipment and technologists are in a separate room from your bedroom.
Will I be able to get out of bed to use the restroom?
Yes. All you have to do is use the call bell and the technologist will unhook the ponytail of wires from the box and you will be free to use the restroom. The wires, and the box they are attached to, will rest around your neck while you use the restroom.
What happens after my sleep study?
You will have a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider or a Sleep Specialist to discuss the results of your study. It is preferred that you wait until the sleep study results are available before the follow-up appointment is scheduled. Sleep study results are not generally discussed over the telephone because of their complex nature. To fully understand the results of your sleep study, their implications, and treatment options, you should meet face-to-face with a healthcare professional.
Can I leave my car at the sleep center overnight?
Yes, parking is available in the visitors lot.