Frequently Asked Questions about Sleep Studies
1) Why do I need a sleep study?
Your doctor believes you show signs of sleep apnea, or he/she wants to rule out sleep apnea. Indications of sleep apnea are: excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, gasping for breath during sleep and difficulty falling asleep. These are just a few symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
2) What is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study is a diagnostic test using elements and wires that provide several types of measurements used to identify different sleep stages and classify various sleep disorders. This procedure is not painful or uncomfortable and is very safe. Small sensors are connected to the head, face, chest and legs of the patient to monitor different brain and body activities including brain waves, eye movement, heart rate, respiration and muscle movements.
3) Can I Fall Asleep With All Those Wires On Me?
Every effort is made to make the study as comfortable as possible so that it feels like another night to you. The sensor wires are gathered together to make it easy for the patient to roll over and change position. After a few minutes in bed, you will not even feel the presence of the sensors, and they can be easily be disconnected if you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
4) What should I expect during my sleep study?
While the patient is sleeping, various important body functions and data are being monitors and recorded. All the information gathered via the sensors are fed into the computer. The technician is monitoring the equipment throughout the duration of study in a separate room. Our technologists are experts in sleep recording procedures and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Depending on your sleep study if a respiratory or breathing problem is observed during sleep the patient can be woken up to try a device that treats breathing problems. This device is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which includes a small mask that fits around the nose.
5) Will I need to take my medication’s the night of my sleep study?
Yes. The patient should not discontinue any prescription medication without consulting his/her doctor first. It is however important that the patient write down in the questionnaire that she/he is given before the sleep study, any medication that he/she has been taking. If you are beginning a new medication that you have not taken for more than a week please let our technician know to insure it does not affect your sleep pattern.
6) Are there any recommendations that I should follow on the day of my sleep study?
It is important that the patient’s hair is thoroughly dry and free of oils or sprays for the study. We recommend that the patient not take any naps on the day of the study and should limit themselves to 2 caffeinated beverages (including coffee, tea, or soft drinks containing caffeine) 12 hours prior to the study. No alcoholic beverages should be consumed on the day of the study.
7) What should I expect after my sleep study?
About 5-business day after a sleep study the results will be compiled and forwarded to your physician. Your physician will then go over the results with you and make his/her recommendations. Please note that the technologist performing your sleep study will not have any information regarding your diagnosis.