Your Sleep Study
If you have been suspected or diagnosed with a sleep disorder, your physician may refer you to Sound Asleep Lab where you will participate in either a home sleep study and/or an in-lab sleep study.
An “at-home sleep apnea test” tracks your breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort while you wear a simple monitor in your own bed at home. An “in-lab overnight sleep study” provides a more thorough assessment of sleep issues beyond just breathing.
The in-lab sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) is a test that records your physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness. It provides data that is essential in evaluating sleep and sleep-related disorders. During your sleep study, you will be monitored overnight for 6-7 hours.
What to Bring to the Lab?
- Nightgown, pajamas or any comfortable sleep wear, preferably with a button-down front
- Slippers or thick socks
- Your favorite pillow or blanket (we will provide bedding including sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels, but yours may help you sleep better)
- Clothes for the following day
- Health insurance card, driver’s license
- Complete list of your daily medications, and the medicines you usually take in the evening
- Completed patient questionnaire
- A book, reading material or iPad
NOTE: Please do not bring valuables
Day of Your Study
- Please arrive promptly at your scheduled time. Provide 48-hour notice for any cancellations.
- Wash and dry your hair on the day of your sleep study. Try not to use any hair products, such as gels, hairsprays or heavy conditioners, because it may prevent the electrodes from sticking to your scalp.
- Remove nail polish and/or artificial nails from at least two fingers. The oximeter that is placed on your finger to monitor blood oxygen levels reads this information through the nail, so any polish or acrylic will not provide an accurate reading.
- Do not wear make-up. Some electrodes are placed on the face, so this area must be clean in order to get a good connection.
- Eat a regular dinner before arriving and bring snacks/drinks if you would like.
- Generally, you are asked to obtain a normal night’s sleep before the test, unless instructed otherwise by your physician. Continue to take your regular medications and limit caffeine intake the day of your study.
Before your sleep test, you will meet with a sleep technologist who will go over your medical and sleep history. You will be checked into one of our comfortable sleep study rooms. The sleep study rooms are furnished with a queen size Sleep Number bed, chair, dresser, flat-screen television and streaming player. Each study room has an attached half bath and wireless internet access. Shower facilities are available in the Sleep Lab.
There will be a video presentation about the sleep study and sleep apnea, since a significant percentage of those who have sleep tests are suspected to have sleep apnea. The video may also address what you should expect during the sleep test to ease any fears that you may have. Then you will be asked to change into nightclothes.
After changing, the sleep technologist will connect you to electrodes that will record your brain waves and muscle movements throughout the night. The electrodes are placed in specific areas and applied with water-soluble glue and tape. The electrodes record brain waves, muscle movement, rapid eye movement (REM), air intake, and periodic limb movement. Despite all the equipment, most people say it doesn’t disrupt their sleep.
After settling you into bed, your sleep technologist will go to a centrally located Control Room and ask you over an intercom to perform certain tasks that will show the electrodes are recording properly. You will be observed on a television monitor during the night to allow the technician to note your body movements during sleep.
When everything is working properly, you will be asked to turn off the lights and television by about 10pm. While you are sleeping, your brain waves will be recorded to determine when you are awake or in Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 or REM sleep. If during the study we detect a significant drop in your blood oxygen level, you may be fitted with a face mask that will deliver a continuous flow of air (CPAP). You will be awakened by the sleep technologist by 6am the next morning and the electrodes will be removed. You might be asked to complete a survey about your sleep the previous night, and then you should be able to leave around 6:30am. You will need to make an appointment with your physician to review the results of your study.
Based on the results of your sleep study, you may be given treatment for a specific sleep disorder. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, which is a device that gently blows air into your nasal passages to keep the airway open while you are asleep.
Sleep Study Results
After your Sleep Study is completed, the technologist monitoring your study can answer some of your questions. However, only the physician reading the sleep study can give a detailed report about your study. Your study will be thoroughly reviewed and interpreted by one of our sleep specialists. The referring physician should have a detailed report of your Sleep Study within 5-7 days of the test date. He or she will discuss your treatment options. If you would like a copy of the sleep study sent directly to you, please let us know.