Sleep Testing FAQs
Here are the answers to some common questions about participating in a sleep study. Click a question to see the answer.
How do I prepare for my sleep study?
- Get up earlier than usual on the morning of the your sleep study.
- Try not to nap the day of your sleep study.
- To help obtain a good recording, be sure to wash your hair on the day of your study to ensure that your hair and scalp are clean.
- Avoid coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and other caffeinated foods or beverages after 2 pm on the day of your sleep study.
- Eat your dinner before you arrive at the SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER. You may bring snacks that are free of caffeine and excess sugar.
- Please bring a list of all your current medications or the medications in their bottles.
- Bring any medications that you might need before you leave the next morning, including insulin, sleeping pills, and pain medications.
- Bring whatever you normally wear to sleep in (no sleeping in the nude), and your usual overnight things such as a toothbrush, and razor. Bring a change of clothes for the morning.
- If you require assistance with daily functions such as toileting, dressing, or getting in and out of bed, we require an assistant to remain for the testing with you.
- If you have a favorite pillow or blanket that will help you feel more comfortable, please bring it with you.
What happens when I first get to the sleep lab?
Upon arrival at The Sleep Disorder Center, a sleep technician will greet you and escort you to your private bedroom where you can change into your sleepwear. The technician will explain the details of your sleep study and answer any questions. They will arrange the monitoring equipment and make sure you are comfortable. You may read or watch TV before you fall asleep.
**Please note — If your sleep study is at our North Chesterfield (Boulders) or West Broad office, please come to the back door of the building. Parking is available and the lot is well lit. The sleep tech can buzz you in through the back door.
What is a Day Sleep Study?
MULTIPLE SLEEP LATENCY TEST (MSLT): A Multiple Sleep Latency Test is required to diagnose certain sleep disorders. Most patients do not need a MSLT. These tests are done during the daytime, and are usually done following an all-night study. The MSLT consists of four or five short naps throughout the day at two-hour intervals. The naps are usually anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour long. You must stay awake between nap periods.
Certain medications that might not disturb a nighttime study can interfere with a MSLT’s results. Please be sure that you discuss all of your medications and any other supplements you may be taking when you come in for your office visit. Please call us if you are unsure about instructions you were given for the MSLT or for discontinuing medications.
Boulders: (804) 320-4341
Colony Crossing: (804) 639-9910
Santa Rosa: (804) 282-1373
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A MSLT:
A MSLT requires a full day to complete. If you do not have an overnight study prior to your MSLT, make sure you bring something for breakfast since we have no vending machines. We do have a microwave and refrigerator you can use. We will provide you with lunch, snacks, and decaffeinated drinks. Please do not bring any drinks with caffeine in them. Make sure you bring projects with you to keep you occupied during the time you are awake. For example you may bring in a laptop computer or a book you wish to read.
Make sure you come in with comfortable daytime clothing to wear for the MSLT, as we would like you to remain active between naps. You can ask a friend or family member to visit you throughout the day also. The test is usually finished by 5 or 5:30 PM, but some patients studies are finished by 3:30 PM. We can let you know by 3:30 PM if you need to stay any longer, after reviewing the first four naps.
What is the room like that I will be sleeping in?
Many people imagine sleeping in a hospital bed, or something very clinical. To the contrary, the Sleep Disorders Centers is furnished like a real bedroom, with a comfortable bed, soft lighting, wood floors, satellite television, an oversized reclining chair and a private bath. Imagine a nice comfy hotel room.