Overnight Sleep Test
What to expect during an overnight sleep test
Before you arrive, please have your evening meal. While there are no food or drink restrictions, we do advise minimal caffeine prior to your test. Please bring any medications that you usually take before bedtime (even if taken occasionally) to the sleep test. Medications should be discussed with your technologist and taken at the appropriate time. In addition, bring sleep clothes, toiletries and other personal hygiene items including toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner. Towels will be provided. You are also welcome to bring your own pillow if desired. Pediatric patients (under 18), must be accompanied by a parent or guardian through the admitting process. Feel free to bring whatever you think will make your child feel comfortable. Please remember to take your belongings with you when you leave.
An overnight sleep test typically begins with check in at the scheduled time at Freeman Sleep Center. After check-in, a sleep technologist will introduce himself/herself to you, and then he or she will take you to your assigned room, which looks more like a hotel room than a typical hospital room. Each patient has his or her own room, and beds are made up with linens and pillows.
Next, a specially-trained technologist will apply monitoring equipment, which includes several small, round, gold recording discs that are applied to your head with paste and one disc will be placed beside each eye. Also, recording devices will be taped near your nose, mouth, chest, legs and/or arms depending on the test ordered by the physician. Please note that this is a painless process. Discuss any skin sensitivities to tape or other adhesives with your technologist. During your sleep test, we'll make a video recording; this is used to evaluate unusual behaviors such as seizures or sleepwalking.
The sensors of the monitoring equipment detect:
- Airflow for breathing
- Chest and abdomen movements
- Oxygen levels in the blood
- Snoring intensity
- Muscle tone of the chin and leg
- Electrical activity of the heart (EKG) and brain (EEG)
Next, you'll be allowed to relax and prepare for sleep. You will be in bed by 11 pm unless otherwise instructed. The monitoring discs attached to you allow you to sleep in your normal, comfortable sleep positions and do not hinder movement. All patients are required to spend a minimum of 6-7 hours in bed and cannot be awakened until all the required data has been collected. This may be later than your normal wake time. An intercom is installed in each room, so you can simply call out to the technologist anytime during the night. If you need to get up during the night, you can easily be “unhooked” to move freely.
For most, a sleep study is a new experience. Please talk with our staff if you have any questions or concerns.