Why It Is Done
Sleep studies are done to find sleep
- Sleep apnea. For more information, see the
- Heart rhythm
- Periodic limb movement disorder.
work sleep disorder or other
circadian rhythm problems.
How To Prepare
You will probably be asked to keep a
sleep diary 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. See an
example of a
sleep diary(What is a PDF document?).
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.
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.
You will need to be at the sleep lab a few
hours before the test so the technician can prepare you for the study. You will
fill out a questionnaire about your sleep the night before. You will also be
asked to fill out another form after the study about your sleep during the