Frequently Asked Questions About Your Sleep Study

 

Before

What is a sleep study?

A sleep study is the diagnostic tool used primarily to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is also used to diagnose:

  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
  • Narcolepsy
  • Nocturnal Seizure Disorder
  • Idiopathic Daytime Hypersomnolence
  • Document Daytime Vigilance  (Commercial Drivers)

During an in-lab monitored sleep study (Polysomnography), you will be provided with a bedroom-like setting specifically designed to help induce sleep.  It takes place during the time you would normally get the most amount of sleep – for most of us that is overnight. 

While you sleep, we measure 10 physiologic parameters using a combination of EKG-type leads and soft pliable bands.  A registered sleep technician monitors your sleep from a control area the entire night.  The equipment records your physical state during various stages of sleep, and provides data that is essential to evaluating sleep and sleep-related complaints.  This data includes identifying sleep stages, body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rhythm, the specific amount of snoring, and general sleep behavior.

Can I visit the center before my study?

Yes!  In fact we encourage it.  Once patients see our accommodations first-hand any anxieties regarding their study are gone.  We provide tours of the sleep testing laboratory during the day. Please feel free to call us to schedule a daytime tour before your test. We will be happy to accommodate your visit.

What information will I get ahead of time?

Once you have scheduled your sleep study, you will receive a welcome package via email containing forms you need to complete, along with directions and phone numbers to the facility. Be sure to bring the directions, phone number, and completed forms on the night of your study.

What if I have special needs?

Please call our office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to discuss your special needs requirements. We will try to accommodate your needs and answer any questions you may have about the sleep study procedure. If you do not speak English you will need to bring someone to interpret for the entire night.

What should I bring?

Pack as you would for an overnight hospital stay. For the benefit of your privacy and comfort, please bring appropriate and comfortable nightclothes (such as a night gown, T-shirts and shorts, or pajama top and bottoms). Other patients and staff members will be in the general testing area. Review the recommended checklist below to ensure that you have everything you might need.

Recommended Check List:

  • Comfortable nightclothes (pajamas or t-shirt and shorts)
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Toiletries and make-up
  • Change of clothes
  • Medications
  • Special pillow or blanket (if desired)
  • Reading material
  • Hair dryer
  • Snack

 

What about medications?

Please take your medications as usual and bring them to the center, if necessary. Upon arrival at the sleep lab, the technologist will be able to tell you your approximate bedtime so that you may take nighttime medications accordingly. Our staff will not be able to dispense any medication to you.

We also recommend that you discuss with your physician whether your medications will affect the sleep study results.

Can I wear nail polish?

If you wear nail polish we might have to remove it from at least one finger to obtain a good signal from the oxygen sensor.

Should I have dinner?

Please eat dinner before arrival. You may bring a snack if you wish. Dinner will not be provided.

Can I have a nap?

It is important that you avoid napping on the day of the study.

Can I have caffeine?

Avoid caffeine (coffee, colas, chocolates, etc.) after 12:00 noon on the day of the study.

Can I smoke?

Our centers are non-smoking facilities.

Should I take a shower before the study?

You may find that a shower before arriving at the sleep center will make you feel more relaxed. Wash and dry your hair and do not apply any sprays, oils, gels, or make-up.  Each bedroom has a private bathroom with shower that you are welcome to use as well.

What if I am running late?

Please contact our office as soon as possible to let us know of your approximate time of arrival.  Option “4” from the main telephone menu will transfer your call directly in to the lab.

 

During

What happens when I arrive at the sleep center?

The study usually begins in the late evening and ends about 6:00 AM. Once you arrive at the center, a sleep technologist will welcome you and show you to your private bedroom. The technologist will ask you to fill out some forms and answer any questions you may have.

Will I have a private bedroom?

Yes, sleep study bedrooms are private.

How do I get ready for the study?

After you change into your sleepwear, the sleep technologist will place a number of non-painful sensors (also called electrodes) on your head, chest area and legs. The areas where the sensors will be attached are cleaned and the electrodes are attached with special gels and paste. (The gels and paste are harmless, however, if you have sensitive skin, please alert your sleep technologist prior to attaching the electrodes.) Elastic belts with sensors will be placed around your chest and abdomen. Airflow sensors will be placed under your nose and a finger clip will be applied to monitor your oxygen levels. All of the sensors will be connected to a small portable box that transmits signals to the sleep monitoring and recording equipment that is in a nearby control room. This process takes about an hour.

Will I be able to sleep with so many things attached to me?

You may find it a bit strange at first, but most people do not find it uncomfortable or an obstacle to falling asleep. We will make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. If a problem arises, your sleep technologist will make adjustments. The bedroom has an open intercom that will enable you to communicate with your technologist at any time.

What if I need to go to the bathroom during the study?

If you need to use the bathroom during the night, you can call your sleep technologist on the intercom for assistance. They will temporarily disconnect you from the sleep monitoring equipment.

What happens while I’m sleeping?

The sleep technologists remain awake in the control room throughout the night analyzing the information being collected while you sleep.  They are available to reconnect displaced or fallen electrodes, help you to the restroom, or do whatever else they may to help you obtain the best possible sleep study.

Will I be treated for my sleep disorder while I’m there?

For certain patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the sleep study may include the beginning of a treatment called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). After you are asleep for a period of time, the sleep technologist will be able to determine if you have evidence of OSA. If you have evidence of OSA, CPAP treatment may be started during the night. During your orientation, this will be thoroughly reviewed, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions.

At what temperature do you keep the sleep lab?

Each and every room in our sleep lab is individually climate controlled for our patient’s comfort.  Simply request your desired temperature so the technician can adjust it accordingly.  The temperature is controlled from the techinican control area so we do not have to disturb you in order to adjust it.  Feel free to request changes to your temperature during the study as needed.

 

After

When will l wake up?

If you are not already awake, you will be awakened between 5:30 AM and 6:15 AM.

Does the sleep center provide breakfast?

We do not provide breakfast but do offer cold juices and hot coffee in the morning at your request.  A refrigerator and microwave are available, as well as a hot/cold spring water dispenser.

When can I leave the sleep center?

You should plan to add an additional 30 minutes to your usual morning preparation time to allow us to remove the electrodes. You may take a shower to wash your hair to remove the gels and paste used to attach the electrodes. If you have long or thick hair, it may take longer to remove the paste. 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 7:00 AM.

What happens if I am scheduled for a nap test?

Your doctor may have ordered an additional test called a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) or a Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) as part of your overall evaluation. This means that you will need to stay at the center for most of the following day for a series of brief naps. The naps are scheduled throughout the day. Please bring reading materials, puzzles or other entertainment items that will help you pass the time. If you have been scheduled for one of these tests, additional information will be provided in your package.

What happens after my sleep study?

A large amount of information is collected during your sleep study. Dr. Ludwick will analyze this information and a formal report with recommendations will be sent to your doctor. On the night of the study, the sleep technologists cannot provide you with any information about your testing results.

When will my doctor receive my results?

It usually takes three to five days for your doctor to receive your formal report. Please schedule a follow-up visit with your physician after that time to discuss the findings and recommendations for treatment. If you have seen Dr. Ludwick prior to your sleep study, our office contact you as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

 

photo

Michael Thomas, Sleep Patient
After my initial assessment by Dr. Ludwick, it was recommended that I have a sleep study. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about it. Dr. Ludwick said that they had just opened a lab adjacent to the office and offered to tour me through the facility. Wow, what a set up! ... read more

 

 

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