What to Expect From an Overnight Sleep Study

When all signs indicate you don’t get a good night’s sleep, a sleep study is the only way to get to the bottom of the problem and determine which one of the many possible sleep disorders is the culprit.

At ApneCare Sleep Lab, our state-of-the-art facility gathers the information your doctor needs to accurately diagnose and treat your sleep problem. At the same time, we take extra steps to make you as comfortable as possible, with a private room, a comfortable bed, and quality bedding.

If your doctor has advised an overnight sleep study, you probably have questions and concerns. Here’s a rundown on what to expect, but don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Preparing for your sleep study

In the days leading up to your overnight sleep study, we suggest sticking with your regular daily routine. Go to bed at your usual time and follow your typical exercise and meal schedule.

On the day of your sleep study, try not to nap, don’t drink alcohol, and avoid caffeine after lunch. Alcohol and caffeine can change your sleep patterns and affect your sleep study results.

Beyond that, your overnight sleep study doesn’t require any advance preparation except that you should pack a few essential items into an overnight bag.

You need to bring prescription medications you take at night or in the morning, comfortable sleepwear (two-piece pajamas), a change of clothes for the next day, and toiletries such as your facial cleanser, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and shaving gear.

Our spa-like rooms are welcoming and relaxing, with comfortable bedding, but we still encourage you to bring your own pillow. Having your usual pillow helps you relax and sleep better.

You should also bring items that are part of your normal nighttime routine. If you have a snack or read before falling asleep, be sure to bring your book, magazine, or a snack with you to ApneCare Sleep Lab. We also offer free Wi-Fi, so feel free to bring your tablet or laptop.

Getting connected to the sensors

When you first arrive at the sleep lab, we usually have some paperwork to review, then we ask you to get ready for bed so that we can attach the sensors that collect data while you sleep.

A highly trained sleep technician works with you, provides what you need, and monitors you from a separate room throughout the night. As each sensor is attached to your body, your technician explains the type of data each one collects.

A mild adhesive is used to attach sensors to your scalp, temples, chin, chest, and legs. You also have a nasal cannula (thin tubes inserted in each nostril) and wear elastic belts around your abdomen and chest to record breathing. Finally, a small clip is placed on your finger or earlobe to measure oxygen levels in your blood.

Each sensor is connected by wires to a computer. Yes, there are a lot of wires, but your technician carefully gathers them together and places them above your head, leaving plenty of slack so that you can move normally while you sleep.

The sensors are not painful, but they may feel unusual at first. It doesn’t take your body long to adapt to the sensation, and before long, you’re able to relax and sleep.

As you sleep, the sensors transmit information about your:

Your snoring and movement are recorded, and your technician notes how long it takes you to fall asleep, the length of time you sleep, and the ratio of total time asleep to the amount of time in bed.

Anytime you need assistance during the night, you can talk to your technician through an intercom. If you need to get up to use the bathroom, they detach and reattach the wires.

We soften the environment

We understand that most patients find it hard to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. You can be assured that we take every possible step to help you feel comfortable. Our rooms — and our service — are more like a high-end hotel than a medical facility. We also offer sound machines and salt lamps to help you relax and fall asleep.

Our team at ApneCare Sleep Lab specializes in making your overnight sleep study comfortable and successful. To learn more, call or book a consultation online.

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