How To Prepare
You may be asked to keep a sleep diary(What is a PDF document?) for 1 to 2 weeks before your sleep study. Try to follow your normal sleep routine during this time so you will not be too tired or too rested for your sleep test. Do not take any naps for 2 to 3 days before your test.
Tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking. You may be asked to stop taking certain drugs, such as sedatives, before your sleep study.
You may be asked to avoid food or drinks with caffeine for a day or two before your test.
Take a shower or bath before your test, but do not use sprays, oils, or gels on your hair. Do not wear makeup, fingernail polish, or fake nails, because some of the test equipment will be placed on your face and fingers.
If the sleep study will be done in a sleep lab, pack a small overnight bag with personal items, such as a toothbrush, comb, favorite pillows or blankets, or a book, to take along. You do not need to wear a hospital gown. You can wear your normal nightclothes.
The sleep lab may send you forms to fill out before the test. These forms will ask about your sleep habits and patterns. The forms may also include questions for the person who sleeps with you; he or she may be aware of sleep habits you do not know you have.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
Sleep studies are usually done by a trained sleep lab technician. The studies are usually scheduled for evening and night hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in a special sleep lab. But if you usually sleep during the day, your test will be done during the hours you normally sleep. You will be in a private room, much like a hotel room. For portable sleep monitoring, you will use equipment at home that records information about you while you sleep.