What to expect
How long will my sleep study last?
A typical sleep study lasts for either one or two nights. Depending on the problem, sometimes an additional test is ordered during the day. The first night is usually considered a diagnostic study, and the second night is typically a treatment night using nasal CPAP. Typically, these two studies are separated by about two weeks to allow our experts to fully analyze the study.
What should I bring to the Sleep Disorders Center (SDC)?
Bring your night clothes and personal toiletries with you — robe, pajamas, slippers, toothbrush, shampoo, shaving cream, razor, etc. There will be times during your stay here when you will not be tested, so please bring something to do during those times if you don’t want to watch TV.
If you’re taking any medication (prescription or over-the-counter), please bring them with you and take them on your regular schedule. The Sleep Disorders Centers have no supplies of medication or access to a pharmacy. If you’re currently using a nasal decongestant or sleeping pill (even on an occasional basis), please bring them, too. It’s sometimes necessary to use these medications during your sleep study, and it’s best to have on hand the ones that work best for you.
Is there anything I should not bring to the SDC?
Please do not bring any job-related work with you or any food from the outside unless it is for a special diet. Snacks and drinks are available before bedtime.
Also, please do not bring any valuables with you — we don’t have any safes or places to keep these.
Are there things I should do before coming in for my sleep study?
Yes! Please make sure you take care of the following before coming in:
- Shower and have your skin clean and dry so our electrodes work properly
- Skip the cream rinses, hairspray, hair relaxers, or lotions or creams
- Remove all makeup before or right after arriving, ladies
- Shave or have a neatly-trimmed bread,
- Avoid caffeine after noon on the day of your study and do not nap that day
What time should I come in for my sleep study?
When we call to schedule your sleep study, the staff will give all the details. Most patients arrive somewhere between 6:30–8 p.m. All patients should have dinner before arriving for their study.
What will happen after I arrive?
Shortly after you arrive, you will be asked to change into your night clothes. The technicians will then explain certain procedures to you, and apply electrodes to your face, head, chest and legs with glue or tape. There are approximately 15 electrodes to be applied, and it takes about a half hour to complete.
Don’t worry about these electrodes! They’re simply there to record the electrical activity already present in your body, and they do not hurt. You may feel a little strange with electrodes and wires attached to your face and head, but the procedure is entirely painless.
After your hook-up is completed, you may relax in the patient lounge or your bedroom until about 10:30 p.m.
What happens at bedtime?
You’ll head to your individual bedroom around 10–10:30 p.m. with a technician. He or she will apply a few additional recording devices — again, these are painless and will not restrict your movement during sleep.
You’ll go to be around 11 p.m. There will be a technician in the monitoring room (next to your bedroom) all night. If you need anything during the night, all you need to do is speak up, and the technician will hear you through the intercom.
We’d like you to sleep for 7–8 hours, so a technician will generally wake you up between 6–7 a.m. If you need to be up earlier for any reason, just let the technician know when you first arrive so they can put you to bed earlier than 11 p.m. If you have a particularly late bedtime or different sleep schedule, please let us know when we schedule your study so that we can make the appropriate accommodations for you.
Will both nights be the same?
The second night will be very similar to your first night. You may have more or less measurements taken on the second night, depending on what we found on the first night. Many patients who have a disorder known as sleep apnea will have treatment with nasal CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) on the second night. Throughout this night of study, the technicians will gradually adjust pressure and timing settings until all episodes of apnea are resolved.
Prior to bedtime on this second night, you'll be given a chance to use the CPAP apparatus while awake to become familiar and comfortable with its feel and function.
When will the final results of my sleep study be shared with me?
After you leave, the process of scoring and analyzing your sleep study begins. Know that this is a very time-consuming process, which takes several days to complete. But once this data is available, one of our experts will review all of the findings and generate a final diagnosis and treatment plan for you. All information is then transcribed and sent to your referring doctor who will review it with you.
If you’re continuing the CPAP treatment at home, the we’ll contact a local medical equipment company to get this process going. Once the company has the required documents, they’ll contact you to arrange for delivery or pickup of your machine.