Before a doctor can prescribe a CPAP machine, a patient must undergo a sleep study. The term sleep study may seem daunting and invoke thoughts of a cold white room with a sterile stainless steel “bed” but truth be told, most sleep studies are quite comfortable and beneficial to the sleeper. To help ease your mind about sleep studies, we are happy to provide our answers to the most commonly asked sleep study questions.
What Happens During a Sleep Study?
The reason for a sleep study is to monitor the sleeping habits of a patient and record those results back to a doctor. To do this, a patient is connected to several monitoring systems and then observed throughout the night. In some cases, the patient is asked to sleep as they normally would for the first half of the night and then they are given a CPAP machine to test for the second half of the night. In other sleep centers, they will hook you up to monitoring devices and leave you to rest throughout the whole evening. The results of a normal sleep as well as with the continuous positive airway pressure machine are then sent to the doctor and proper sleeping aids can be prescribed.
What Should I Do To Prepare For a Sleep Study?
In most cases, you will attend a preliminary appointment where you meet with a nurse who asks your common medical questions and gathers your information. It is here that you may ask specific questions about what to do in preparation for the study but in most cases they will recommend the following preparation techniques.
- Refrain From Taking Any Sleeping Medications
- Do Not Drink Caffeinated Beverages (coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, colas)4-6 Hours Before the Study
- Continue to Take Prescribed Medications unless Directed Otherwise
- Wash Hair Before Attending The Sleep Study
- Refrain From Taking Any Daytime Naps
- Avoid Alcohol On The Day Of The Sleep Study
- Eat a Full and Healthy Dinner Before Attending The Study
May I Bring My Own Items?
Of course! In fact, many sleep centers recommend bringing your own pillow, a favorite blanket or other friendly household items to assist with the patient’s comfort level and ability to fall asleep. It is important to bring all items of your nighttime routine to the sleep study, to ensure consistency in sleep and comfort.
What Should I Expect When I Arrive?
After completing the initial consultation and meeting with the nurse, you will come back on the scheduled day to the sleep study center. When you arrive, you can expect to be escorted into a comfortable room with a clean yet inviting bed. You will be asked to put down your items and then the sleep technician will connect some electrodes to your head using a gel. This painless process can take roughly a half hour to finish and during that time, patients are free to watch television or read. They may also attach a Sleep Apnea machine/breathing cord to the patient’s nose to observe breathing throughout the night. They will also supervise your pulse with an attachment to your finger. After a patient has been hooked up to all of the monitoring devices, they may go to sleep, which usually can take roughly 20 minutes.
How Long Does A Sleep Study Take?
Most sleep centers will schedule a patient’s sleep study between the times of 7 pm and 9 pm but the study it’s self will not begin until the electrode hook up has been completed (30-45 minutes). The actual testing usually lasts from 10:30 PM to 6 AM and a sleep technician will be located just next store should you as a patient, need anything. The whole process lasts roughly 12-14 hours.
What Happens When the Sleep Study Has Been Completed?
Once the sleep study has been completed, the sleep center staff will wake up the patient and help them remove the electrode monitors. Then you are free to head home and await your results. The center will send the results to your physician who will determine the type of CPAP machine (traditional CPAP, Auto CPAP and BiPAP) that is necessary for Sleep Apnea relief. From there you can order your CPAP machines and CPAP accessories from respshop.com and find a way to better rest and sleep.