When you arrive for your study, you will be greeted by a staff member who will show you to your room and provide an explanation of the sleep study process. There may be a questionnaire for you to fill out. Then you will change into your sleep attire.
Equipment used in the study
The sleep technician will attach sensors to parts of your body such as your scalp, forehead, chin, chest, ankle/leg, and index finger. The sensors are painless and are attached using a temporary adhesive/gel. Elastic bands may also be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your breathing.
The sensors are connected by wires to a computer that records and stores data. The wires are long and small, enabling you to move around in bed.
After the sensors are applied, you can watch television, read a magazine or book, or simply lie in bed until you are ready to fall asleep.
What is being monitored while I sleep?
The sensors that are attached to the various parts of your body are measuring the activities of your brain, heart, lungs, and certain muscles during sleep. The information provides important feedback that is interpreted by a sleep specialist and given to your doctor.
Will I be able to move in my sleep?
You will be able to sleep and move freely in any position.
What if I need to use the restroom during the night?
The need to use the restroom during the night is easily accommodated. The sleep technician will let you know how to handle this.
Will any of my hair need to be shaved in the areas in which the sensor are placed?
The sensors are applied with a paste that is easily removed with soap and water. Unless your body hair is extremely thick on your legs or chest, shaving will not be needed. The hair on your head can be parted when applying the sensors and does not need to be shaved. If you have any concerns about this, discuss them with your sleep technician.
Will I be watched while I sleep?
The sleep technician is at a separate work station located in the facility. In order to provide a full evaluation and report of the study, the work station has various monitoring and recording devices. This is standard practice in order to provide your doctor with the most thorough and detail results of your study.
What if I can't fall asleep?
How long it takes you to fall asleep is part of the data that will be recorded, as that information is important to the study. Many people actually fall asleep sooner than they think.
Can I bring someone with me?
A child must have a parent or guardian. However, there is not enough space to accommodate two adults. Contact the sleep facility in advance if you have any questions about this.
Can I sleep in my own clothes?
Yes. A comfortable sleep outfit is recommended and best suited for the study.
What will I feel/does it hurt?
The sleep study process is painless. You may feel the sensation of a sensor being removed, which is similar to having a bandage taken off.
Will the technician need to come in to my room while I sleep?
If a sensor becomes detached, the technician will awaken you to reattach it. Also, if the technician becomes aware - from the data being collected and monitored - that you may have a severe sleep breathing disorder and may benefit from immediate therapy that involves airflow to you airway, he or she will awaken you to apply the therapy equipment. Once you fall back to sleep, data will be collected on how your sleep patterns respond to the therapy.