What is involved in a sleep study?
After a consultation with one of our physicians and/or psychologist, patients referred to the UMass Memorial Sleep Disorders Center may be scheduled for an overnight sleep study in our lab. This allows patients to be monitored overnight by noninvasive equipment that measures sleep, respiration, snoring, muscle activity, heart rhythm and position. On the day of the sleep study we encourage patients to:
- Not drink caffeinated beverages or nap after noon on the day of the study.
- Wash hair, shower and shave before coming in. This helps us obtain quality signals throughout the night.
- Bring a list of medications including names and doses. If medications are taken at night, bring these to the study. We are not able to dispense medications in the Sleep Disorders Center lab.
- Bring things from home that will make them comfortable - a book, a favorite pillow or blanket.
- Wear pajamas that have a separate top and bottom to accommodate the monitoring sensors.
Some patients may also be scheduled for a "nap" study or multiple sleep latency test or maintenance of wakefulness test on the day following the overnight sleep study. Meals will be provided throughout the day. Also, patients will have free time between the five scheduled naps. Televisions and DVD players are available for use. Patients have to remain at the Sleep Disorders Center throughout the day, but may make telephone calls. Visitors are usually discouraged. Once the test is completed, the monitoring devices will be removed and patients may resume usual activities without limitations.
Extensive information is collected during a sleep test; therefore it may take several days to get a final report. A patient's sleep physician will receive a preliminary report the morning after the test and the patient will receive the results at the time of a follow-up visit. Patients should call their sleep physician's office to make a follow-up appointment after the sleep study if one has not been scheduled.
What happens after a sleep study?
Diagnosing and treating sleep disorders involves more than sleep testing. A sleep physician, psychologist and/or dentist will work with patients to develop a treatment plan, which includes follow-up appointments to monitor progress and address problems. For people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, treatment may also include a close working relationship with a home care company and their sleep physician.
A patient's sleep physician will send the results of evaluation, test results and follow-up to their primary care physician. We will also work with the patient's other health care providers to help reach the best possible outcomes.