What to expect before Sleep Studies?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 12, 2013

Before a sleep study, your doctor may ask you about your sleep habits and whether you feel well rested and alert during the day.

You may be asked to keep a sleep diary or sleep log. You'll record information such as when you went to bed, when you woke up, how many times you woke up during the night, and more.


What To Bring With You

Depending on what type of sleep study you're having, you may need to bring:

  1. Notes from your sleep diary or sleep log. These may be helpful to your doctor.
  2. Pajamas and a toothbrush for overnight sleep studies.
  3. A book or something to do between testing periods if you're having a maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) or multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).

How To Prepare

You may need to stop or limit the use of tobacco, caffeine and other stimulants, and some medicines before having a sleep study. 

Your doctor may ask you about alcohol, medicines, or other substances that you take. Make sure you tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including over-the-counter products. Your doctor also may ask about any allergies you have.

Talk with your doctor before the sleep study and never stop taking your medicines unless the doctor who prescribed them tells you to do so.

You should try to sleep well the night before you have an MWT because you'll have to try to stay awake during the test. If you're being tested as a requirement for a transportation- or safety-related job, you may be asked to take a drug-screening test.

You also should try to sleep well for a night or two before you have an MSLT because the results will be more accurate.

If you're going to have a home-based sleep test with a portable monitor, you'll need to visit a sleep center or your doctor's office to pick up the equipment. Your doctor or a technician will tell you how to use the equipment.



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