A Sleep Study, or Polysomnogram, is used to help diagnose sleep disorders. Sleep studies generally take place in a sleep lab during a person’s normal sleeping hours. A Sleep Test uses various instruments to gather information about a person’s sleep stages, body position, and physiological conditions such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle movement, and possibly even the electrical activity of the heart. This data is then evaluated by your physician.
Sleep Study Test Patient Preparation
Ask your doctor if the Sleep Test will require an overnight stay. Most do and if so make sure you pack a bag with your pajamas, pillow, and hygiene products like a toothbrush. If you have kept a sleep journal make sure to bring it to your test. Try to reduce the amount of caffeine or sugar you consumer the day prior to your Sleep Test. Try to avoid excessive sleeping, naps, the day before your test. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants a few days prior to the test in that they may affect the results of your test. Avoid skin oils and lubricants prior to the test in that it may inhibit the test electrodes from sticking to your skin. Discuss all medications or herbal supplements you are taking prior to the test. Some of these may alter your test results and your physician and the technician should be aware of what you take prior to the test. Bring a list of all your medications with you for review by the facility.
What to expect during and after a Sleep Test Procedure
Most Sleep Test will last throughout the night. Be prepared to shower to go to work the next morning from the testing facility if needed. Once you arrive at the testing facility you will be asked to change into your pajamas and to remove any jewelry or clothing that may interfere with the test. The test technician will then attached small metal discs, or electrodes, to your head and body for the EEG, ECG, EOG, and EMG equipment cables. The test technician will then attach an oxygen measuring devices to a finger tip and your face to measure the oxygen level in the blood vessels and air flow while breathing respectively. The temperature of the room may need to be maintained at a certain level, but blankets can be adjusted as needed. Lights will be turned off and monitoring will begin before you fall asleep. For multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT), short nap periods will be assigned at intervals. For multiple wake testing (MWT), you will be asked to try and stay awake for certain periods of time.
When the study has been completed, the electrodes and other devices will be removed. Once the procedure is complete, you will be able to change and leave the facility. Your Sleep Study results will be studied and the results should be ready in a 2-3 business days.