What to Expect During Your Trip to the Sleep Center
You will be having a Polysomnogram (also known as a sleep study). This is a study that measures the quality of your sleep and breathing via recording of the bioelectrical activity of your body. The test will take place at a Sleep Disorders Center. Our private bedrooms are similar to hotel rooms. The rooms are supplied with pillows, blankets and fans. The restroom will have towels, washcloths and toiletries. (Please bring your tooth brush and any other personal hygiene items you need).
A typical Polysomnogram records the following data:
• Brain waves / Eye movements (electrodes placed on the scalp)
• Chin muscle tone (electrodes placed on the chin)
• Heart rate (electrodes placed on the chest)
• Leg movements (electrodes placed on the legs)
• Airflow (sensor placed near the nose and mouth)
• Breathing effort (two elastic belts placed around chest and abdomen)
• Oxygen saturation level (small sensor attached to the finger)
Upon arrival to the sleep center you will be greeted by a sleep technologist, who will give you a few forms to read and sign (this only takes a minute or two). You will then be shown to your bedroom where you will change into your overnight clothes. After changing for bed your technologist will show you to the patient prep room where they will place the above sensors (this process takes approximately 15-30 minutes.) Your technologist is very knowledgeable and can answer any questions you have during this process. If you are likely to need continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) during the night, you may be fitted with a mask and practice with this before going to bed.
You will then return to your bedroom. Just prior to going to sleep, the technologist will perform several calibrations of the equipment. As part of this testing, you will open and close your eyes, move them around, snore, take breaths in and out and even move your arms and legs (this is to ensure the signals are registering properly). If something goes wrong with a wire, or if one comes loose during the night, your tech will come in to fix it. Following the above procedures the lights will be turned off and your sleep study will begin.
If at any point during the study you need to use the restroom or need assistance, you will simply remove the pulse oximeter probe from your finger, which alerts your technologist to enter the room to assist you. All sensors are easily removed in the morning and this takes only a couple of minutes. You will have a Post- study questionnaire to complete in the morning and then will be released to leave the sleep center.
If you are unable to keep your appointment or if you have an upper respiratory infection causing significant nasal congestion, contact the Sleep Disorders Center at least 48 hours to reschedule your appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q. Will I be sleeping in a room by myself?
Yes. You do have your own private room that is set - up like a hotel room. There is a bathroom with towels, washcloths and toiletries. (Bring tooth brush, favorite pillow (optional) and personal hygiene items as needed). If you have special needs please call office prior to your study.
Q. What time will I leave in the morning?
Typically, patients leave between 5:00 am - 6:00 am; however, if you need to leave earlier than 6:00 am (for work, etc.) we can wake you up as early as 4:30 am. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, please let us know when you arrive in the center so we can accommodate your request. If you have arranged for a ride, they will need to pick you up by 6:00 am.
Q. Can my husband/wife stay the night with me?
No. Significant others are not allowed to sleep overnight in the patient rooms. Please remember this is a test and any disruption in the room can wake the patient and compromise the accuracy of the test. We will make other arrangements for the patient if a partner must be available on site for medical reasons.
Q. Will I be hooked up with wires during the sleep study?
Yes, however, this procedure is non-invasive (there are no needles involved) and painless. These wires will monitor your heart rate, limb movements, eye movements, air flow, breathing effort, chin muscle tone and brain activity while you sleep. This is how the data is collected for the physician to review and interpret your sleep study. The application of the body sensors and electrodes allows you to change positions in your sleep.
Q. Will the sensors hurt?
No. This is a painless and non-invasive testing procedure. Paste is applied to your skin and scalp to keep the electrodes in place, but it is easily removed with soap and water.
Q. Will I be able to Sleep?
The biggest concern most people have is whether they will be able to sleep. Surprisingly, most individuals are able to sleep, even with all the wires, the strange environment and any number of things that could be disruptive. It is exceptionally rare to have someone not be able to sleep at all. If you are concerned that you may not be able to fall asleep, most patients can be given a mild sleep aid to help initiate asleep (if approved/prescribed by your physician prior to your sleep study). A sleep aid will not change the results of your sleep study. Make certain that all medications are approved by your doctor before using them on the night of your sleep study.
Q. Can I sleep without pajamas on?
No. If you do not bring in a two piece sleep wear you should at least wear a comfortable pair of shorts. (Shirt is optional for males).
Q. What time will the sleep tech wake me up?
After collecting all of the required data (at least 6 hours of recorded sleep time), your sleep tech will wake you up between 5:00am-5:30am and will release you to leave the sleep center.
Q. What if I need to get up to go to the bathroom?
If you need to use the bathroom during the night, your sleep technologist will temporarily disconnect you from the sleep monitoring equipment. The bathrooms are only a few steps away from the patient bedrooms.
Q. Can I bring my own pillow and blankets?
Yes. You are more than welcome to bring your own pillow and/or blanket. You can also bring a book to read to help you fall asleep.
Q. Can I take a sleep aid?
If your physician has prescribed a sleep aid for the night of the study or approved a sleep aid for use during testing; Yes - you will need to bring the sleep aid with you. IF YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE A SLEEP AID, YOU MUST WAIT UNTIL YOU ARRIVE TO THE SLEEP LAB BEFORE TAKING IT OR ANY OTHER MEDICATION THAT MAKES YOU DROWSY. DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATIONS THAT MAKE YOU DROWSY PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL IF YOU ARE DRIVING YOURSELF TO THE SLEEP LAB FOR YOUR SLEEP STUDY.
Q. Can I sleep with the TV on?
No. Sleeping with a TV on can disturb the sleep study process.
Q. Can I drive myself? Do I need to arrange for someone to drop me off and pick me up?
Either is fine. If you take any medications that could potentially affect your driving, we ask that you arrange for someone to drive you to the sleep center. If you drive yourself - your car can be left overnight. Patient parking is just a few steps from the entrance and is in a well-lit parking lot. If you have arranged for a ride, they will need to pick you up by 6:00 am.
Q. When will I get my sleep study results?
Although you may receive your results sooner, please allow up to 5 days. Your consulting sleep physician or our office will contact you (via e-mail, letter, phone call or clinic appt) with the results of your sleep study as well as any treatment options/recommendations and next steps you are to take if any.
Q. What is a CPAP Titration study?
During a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Titration study, you will undergo the same prep process with the same wires that were used for your diagnostic study. In addition, you will be asked to sleep with a CPAP mask over your nose or nasal pillows which rest comfortably at the base of your nostrils. The mask delivers room-temperature air to help keep your airway open as you sleep. This test is used to determine the optimal pressure which will effectively treat your sleep apnea and snoring.
Q. If I test positive for Obstructive Sleep Apnea will I receive my CPAP machine to take home the same day?
No. When you receive your sleep study results your sleep physician will send a prescription for the proper machine setting and mask to your preferred DME Company. You will be contacted by the DME Company to arrange a convenient time to set-up your machine and pick up your equipment.