What is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study is the best way to determine certain sleep disorders like narcolepsy or sleep apnea. In-lab sleep studies provide your doctor with a comprehensive evaluation of your sleep, ensuring you will have the proper diagnosis and treatment for your sleep disorder.

Preparing for an in-lab sleep study

If you are having an in-lab sleep study, you will stay overnight in our sleep center. Data will be collected during the night that will help your doctor diagnose and determine the best treatment plan.

Day of:

  • Do not nap
  • Do not drink caffeine after lunch
  • Do not use hair sprays or gels, they may interfere with the sleep recording
  • Keep to your regular routine as much as possible
  • Check with your regular provider about whether or not to take your regular medication during the study

What you should bring:

  • Comfortable pajamas and any items needed for your nightly routine (toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • Any medicine (as directed by your health care provider)

What happens when you arrive at the sleep center?

A sleep technologist will ask about your sleep habits which may include a questionnaire and additional material for you to fill out.

Soon after you complete the questionnaire you may go to bed. You will be the only person in the room, no other patients will be in the room with you and there will be a bathroom for you to use. A sleep technologist will attach sensors with glue or tape to your body to monitor your body while you sleep. Please let the technologist know if you are allergic or sensitive to adhesives and feel free to ask any questions about the process.

Cameras in your room allow the technologist to monitor you while you sleep in case help is needed.

What will the sensors measure?

  • Brain waves
  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Leg and arm movements
  • Oxygen levels

What if you don't sleep during the sleep study?

Though it may seem like it would be hard to sleep connected to sensors, many people sleep enough to allow for a diagnosis. You may be prescribed medication to help you sleep during the study.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

One of the most common reasons a sleep study is recommended is because your doctor may suspect you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. OSA occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and the airway collapses. Air cannot get into the lungs and oxygen levels in the blood go down.

If you are getting a sleep study because your doctor suspects you may have OSA, the sleep technologist will fit you with a CPAP mask before the study begins just in case the study becomes a CPAP study.

What is a CPAP study?

CPCP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAPA study measures your response to different levels of pressure. The goal is to determine what level of pressure will keep your airway open and treats the OSA. Oxygen may be added during this study.

If you are showing signs of having moderate to severe OSA then your sleep technologist may start a CPAP titration study during the night. The technologist will enter your room and put the CPAP mask on you which will be attached to a CPAP machine. When you fall asleep, the technologist will monitor and document your body's response to different CPAP pressures.

What happens after my test?

In the morning the sleep technologist will remove all the sensors. Information gathered during the study will be reviewed and evaluated by a sleep specialist. Your sleep technologist will not be able to provide you with your results.

Your health care provider will discuss the results of your sleep study with you, which may take several days or a week to evaluate.