What happens during the overnight sleep study?
The study usually begins in the late evening and ends at about 6:00 AM Once you arrive at the sleep center for your scheduled study, a sleep technologist will welcome you and show you to your private bedroom.
You may bring items you use for your bedtime routine, and you can sleep in your own nightclothes. The room where the sleep study is conducted is similar to a hotel room; it is dark and quiet during the sleep study. You don't share the room with anyone else. The room has a video camera, so the sleep technologist monitoring you can see what's happening in the room when the lights are out, and an audio system, so that he or she can talk to you and hear you from the monitoring area outside the room.
After you change into your sleepwear, the sleep technologist will explain the procedure and what to expect during the night. The technician will prepare you for the study by placing electrodes and sensors on your head, chest, and legs. The areas where the sensors will be attached are cleaned and the electrodes are attached with special gels and paste. Elastic belts with sensors will be placed around your chest and abdomen. Airflow sensors will be placed under your nose and a finger clip will be applied to monitor your oxygen levels. All of the sensors are connected to a small portable box that transmits signals to the sleep monitoring and recording equipment that is in a nearby control room.
If the sleep study is a CPAP titration polysomnography, the technician will also fit you with a CPAP mask and explain how the CPAP device works.
During the sleep study, every attempt is made to allow for a normal night’s sleep. You wear your own sleepwear and can bring your favorite pillow, book or magazine. Showers and basic toiletries are available for your use in the morning. A trained sleep technologist is available to explain the procedure, operate the diagnostic equipment and is stationed all night in an adjacent control room to both monitor the sleep recording and ensure your comfort and well-being. If you need assistance, you can talk to him or her through the monitoring equipment. The technologist can come into the room to detach the wires if you need to get up during the night.
In the morning when the sleep study is completed, the sensors are removed, and you may leave the sleep center. You're given an appointment for a follow-up visit with your doctor or the sleep specialist.
How should I prepare for my sleep study?
You should eat dinner before coming in for the sleep study. There will be no snacks allowed during the procedure. Avoid caffeinated products, including coffee, colas and chocolate after 12:00 noon on the day of the sleep study. It is also important to avoid napping on the day of the study. You may find that a shower before arriving at the sleep center will make you feel more relaxed. Please remove braids, hair weaves, and hair accessories such as clips and rubber bands. Wash and dry your hair and do not apply any sprays, oils, gels, or make-up.
One adult is required to stay with any patient under the age of 18. If the patient appears ill, he or she may be asked to reschedule. Once the sleep study is started, all books and toys must be put away and cell phones turned off.
How will I be able to sleep with so many things attached to me?
You may find it strange at first, but most people do not find it uncomfortable or an obstacle to falling asleep. We will make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. If a problem arises, your sleep technologist will make adjustments. The bedroom has an open intercom that will enable you to communicate with your technologist at any time.
Can I take my usual medications?
All medications being taken should first be discussed with a physician before making an appointment for a sleep study. Certain medications, such as sleeping pills, stimulants, anti-histamines and drugs for anxiety and depression can interfere with the test results, and may need to be discontinued prior to the evaluation. However, unless instructed otherwise by a physician, you should continue to take all your medications on the day and night of the sleep study.
What happens after the sleep study?
Once your sleep study is performed, a board-certified physician will interpret the results of your study usually within 48 hours. A detailed report of the sleep study will be compiled with treatment recommendations. At the follow-up appointment the findings of your sleep study will be reviewed with you and a treatment plan discussed. Your doctor will continue to meet with you as needed to ensure that your sleep disorder is resolved.
Can I wear nail polish?
If you wear nail polish we might have to remove it from at least one finger to obtain a good signal from the oxygen sensor.
Can I smoke?
Our sleep disorder center is a non-smoking facility.
What if I am running late?
Please contact the sleep center directly and let us know of your approximate time of arrival.