To get a better idea of your breathing, body movements and other factors while you sleep, your doctor may refer you to a sleep study. With the assistance of advanced monitoring systems, sleep studies can help identify a number of issues you may be having, including serious sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Sleep studies are performed in private bedrooms at a sleep center. When you arrive, a technologist will guide you to your room, explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. After you’ve had a chance to change into your sleep attire, small sensors will be placed on your scalp, face, chest, abdomen and legs. These sensors monitor brain waves, breathing rate and effort, oxygen levels, muscle tone, leg movements, snoring, heart rate and eye movements. You’re encouraged to bring reading material, a laptop or other relaxing activities to do before you’re ready to sleep.
Your technologist will then oversee the recordings during the course of the night from computers located outside of your room. We’ll wake you up around 5:30 or 6 a.m., or earlier if you need us to, and provide you with a snack and juice or bottled water before you go. We will do everything we can to make your stay pleasant and comfortable.
In some cases, you may be eligible for a home sleep study. If so, you’ll be provided with a small, lightweight device and training on how to use it. After returning the device in person or by mail the day after your sleep study, our sleep specialists will score and interpret the data collected. An appointment will be set the following week to see a sleep specialist who will explain the findings and discuss appropriate treatments.
Preparing for your study
On the day of your study
- Shower before arriving, remove all makeup, hair care products and body lotions.
- Please remove nail polish on one finger to allow for oxygen monitoring.
- Avoid caffeine after noon on the day of your study.
- Eat meals as usual.
- Continue taking your medications as instructed by your doctor.
- Avoid taking naps on the day of your study.
- Avoid drinking lots of fluids before the study.
Items to bring
- Your completed questionnaire.
- Your insurance card and photo ID (we cannot complete your appointment without these).
- Something comfortable to sleep in and personal items needed to spend the night. Sleepwear should be loose fitting.
- Your sleep aid medication, if needed. (Do not take your sleep aid before you arrive at the lab.) Please continue with your regular schedule for all other medications.
- Medication(s) taken at bedtime or during the night unless otherwise instructed.
- Any toiletries you need, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and contact lens cases.
- Reading material and/or a laptop computer.
- Your pillow, if you think it will make your night more comfortable.