Sleep Disorders Center
Your Stay at the Sleep Disorders Center
How long will my sleep study last?
A typical sleep study lasts for either one or two nights. Depending on the particular problem, sometimes an additional test is ordered during the daytime. 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 one week to allow the Sleep Center staff to fully analyze the diagnostic study to determine if treatment is necessary.
What should I bring to the Sleep Disorders Center (SDC)?
Bring your nightclothes and personal toiletries with you to the SDC: robe, pajamas, slippers, toothbrush, shampoo, shaving cream, razor, etc. There will be times during your stay here when you will not be tested. Please bring something to do during those times. The patient lounge is supplied with a TV and magazines for your use, but you might also want to bring your own reading material, playing cards, crafts, handwork, etc.
If you are 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, nor access to a pharmacy. If you are currently using a nasal decongestant or sleeping pill (even on an occasional basis), please bring them too. It is sometimes necessary to use these medications during your sleep study, and it is 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 to the SDC. We do not have facilities for guarding your valuables, so please do not bring large sums of money or other valuables with you.
Are there things I should do before coming in for my sleep study?
Yes. There are several things you can do to insure that we get the best recordings possible. In order for our electrodes to work properly, they must be applied to skin that is as clean and dry as possible.
For this reason, please be showered and have your hair washed before coming to the SDC. Please do not use any cream rinses, hairspray, or hair relaxers on your hair after washing. Also, do not use any skin lotions or creams before your sleep study.
Women are asked to remove all makeup before or shortly after arriving at the SDC. Men should be clean-shaven before coming in for their sleep study. We can accommodate men with beards; it is not necessary to shave.
What time should I come in for my sleep study?
When we call to schedule your sleep study, the Sleep Center staff will give you details as to when to arrive and where to park. Most patients arrive somewhere between 6:30 to 8:00 in the evening. 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 nightclothes. The technicians will then explain certain procedures to you, and apply electrodes to your face, head, chest, and legs. The electrodes are attached with either glue or tape. There are approximately 15 electrodes to be applied, and it takes about one-half hour to complete this procedure.
Many patients worry needlessly about these electrodes. The electrodes simply record the electrical activity already present in your body; they do not generate any electrical current of their own. Most importantly, the application of the electrodes does 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?
At about 10:00 to 10:30 p.m., the technicians will take you to your bedroom. Each patient has his or her own individual bedroom with a private bathroom. Once in your bedroom, the technician will apply a few additional recording devices. Again, these are painless and will not restrict your movement during sleep.
Bedtime will be around 11 p.m. There will be a technician in the monitoring room (adjacent to your bedroom) all night. If you need anything during the night, all you need to do is speak, and the technician will hear you through the intercom.
All patients are expected to stay in bed for 7 to 8 hours. This means that the technicians will generally be waking you up between 6 to 7 a.m. If you need to be up earlier for any reason, please let the technician know when you first arrive at the Sleep Center 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 Night 2 be the same as Night 1?
Night 2 will be very similar to your first night in the sleep center. You may have more or less measurements taken on the second night, depending on what was found on the Night 1 study. Many patients who have a disorder known as sleep apnea will have treatment with nasal CPAP on Night 2. This will be fully explained to you early in the evening if CPAP treatment is recommended in your case.
When will the final results of my sleep study be shared with me?
After you leave the Sleep Center, the process of scoring and analyzing your sleep study begins. This is a very time-consuming process, which takes several days to complete. When this data is available, one of our physician sleep specialists will review all of the findings and generate a final diagnosis and treatment plan for you. All information is then transcribed into a Final Report, which is sent to your referring physician. You should review this report with him/her at your next appointment.