Frequently asked questions at the Sleep Institute of New England
Before the Sleep Study
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is a diagnostic test for evaluation sleep disorders. A sleep study, also called a polysomnogram (PSG), measures your brain wave activity, eye movements, muscle contractions, heart activity, breathing and blood oxygenation during sleep.
The information we collect during your study is reviewed and analyzed by our sleep specialists.
Can I visit the Sleep Institute before my study?
Yes, please feel free to call us to schedule a daytime tour before your test. We will be happy to accommodate your visit. You are also welcome to take a tour during your scheduled appointment.
What information will I get ahead of time?
Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will receive a welcome package that will contain forms you need to complete, along with directions and phone numbers to the facility. Be sure to bring the directions, phone number, completed forms and your health insurance card to your appointment.
What if I have special needs?
Please call our office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to discuss your special needs requirements. We will try to accommodate your needs and answer any questions you may have about the sleep study procedure.
What should I bring?
Pack as you would for an overnight stay. For the benefit of your comfort, please bring appropriate and comfortable 2-piece nightclothes (such as T-shirts and shorts or pajama top and bottoms). Review the recommended checklist below to ensure that you have everything you might need.
Recommended Check List:
- Comfortable nightclothes (2-piece pajamas or t-shirt and shorts)
- Bathrobe and slippers
- Toiletries and make-up
- Change of clothes
- Special pillow or blanket (if desired)
- Reading material
- Hair dryer
What about medications?
Please take your medications as usual and bring them to the center, if necessary. Upon arrival at the sleep center, the technologist will be able to tell you your approximate bedtime so that you may take nighttime medications accordingly. Our staff will not be able to dispense any medication to you.
We also recommend that you discuss with your physician whether your medications will affect the sleep study results.
Can I wear nail polish?
If you wear nail polish we might have to remove it from at least one finger to obtain a good signal from the oxygen sensor.
Should I have dinner?
Please eat dinner before arrival.
Can I have a nap?
It is important that you avoid napping on the day of the study.
Can I have caffeine?
Avoid caffeine (coffee, colas, chocolates, etc.) after 12:00 noon on the day of the study.
Can I smoke?
Our institute is a non-smoking facility.
Should I take a shower before the study?
You may find that a shower before arriving at the sleep center will make you feel more relaxed. Please remove braids, hair weaves, and hair accessories (clips, rubber bands, etc.). Wash and dry your hair and do not apply any sprays, oils, gels, or make-up.
During the Study
What happens when I arrive at the sleep center?
The study usually begins at either 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM and ends between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM. Once you arrive at the center, a sleep technologist will welcome you and show you to your private bedroom. The technologist will ask you to fill out some forms and answer any questions you may have.
Will I have a private bedroom?
Yes, sleep study bedrooms are private and each has a private bathroom.
How do I get ready for the study?
After you change into your sleepwear, the sleep technologist will place a number of non-painful sensors (also called electrodes) on your head, chest area and legs. The areas where the sensors will be attached are cleaned and the electrodes are attached with special gels and paste. (The gels and paste are harmless, however, if you have sensitive skin, please alert your sleep technologist prior to attaching the electrodes.) Elastic belts with sensors will be placed around your chest and abdomen. Airflow sensors will be placed under your nose and a finger clip will be applied to monitor your oxygen levels. All of the sensors will be connected to a small portable box that transmits signals to the sleep monitoring and recording equipment that is in a nearby control room.
Will I be able to sleep with so many things attached to me?
You may find it a bit strange at first, but most people do not find it uncomfortable or an obstacle to falling asleep. We will make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. If a problem arises, your sleep technologist will make adjustments.
What if I need to go to the bathroom during the study?
If you need to use the bathroom during the night, you can call your sleep technologist on the intercom for assistance. They will temporarily disconnect you from the sleep monitoring equipment.
What happens while I’m sleeping?
The center is a busy place and there may be other patients being monitored during the same evening. The sleep technologists remain awake in the control room throughout the night analyzing the information being collected while you sleep.
Will I be treated for my sleep disorder while I’m there?
For certain patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the sleep study may include the beginning of a treatment called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). During your orientation, this will be thoroughly reviewed, and you will have plenty of time to ask questions.
After the Sleep Study
When will l wake up?
If you are not already awake, you will be awakened between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM.
Does the sleep center provide breakfast?
Sleep Institute of New England is equipped with a kitchen and we provide a light, complimentary breakfast. Selections include breakfast bars or oatmeal, coffee, teas and juices. A refrigerator and microwave are available, as well as a hot/cold spring water dispenser. You are welcome to use the kitchen or ask your sleep technologist for assistance.
When can I leave the sleep center?
You should plan to add an additional 30 minutes to your usual morning preparation time to allow us to remove the electrodes. You may take a shower to wash your hair to remove the gels and paste used to attach the electrodes. If you have long or thick hair, it may take longer to remove the paste. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, please let us know when you arrive in the center so we can accommodate your request. If you have arranged for a ride, they will need to pick you up by 7:00 AM.
What happens if I am scheduled for a nap test?
Your doctor may have ordered an additional test called a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) or a Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) as part of your overall evaluation. This means that you will need to stay at the center for most of the following day for a series of brief naps. The naps are scheduled throughout the day. Please bring reading materials, puzzles or other entertainment items that will help you pass the time. If you have been scheduled for one of these tests, additional information will be provided in your package.
What happens after my sleep study?
A large amount of information is collected during your sleep study. A sleep specialist will analyze this information and a formal report with recommendations will be sent to your doctor. On the night of the study, the sleep technologists cannot provide you with any information about your testing results.
When will my doctor receive my results?
It usually takes two to three days for your doctor to receive your formal report. Please schedule a follow-up visit with your physician after that time to discuss the findings and recommendations for treatment. If you have seen one of our specialist, you will be scheduled for a follow up visit to review the results of your sleep testing.