If your physician suspects that you have a sleep disorder, you may be referred to have a sleep study done. Don’t be surprised. Many health problems have poor sleep as a root cause. Something as simple as snoring can lead to heart problems if not caught soon enough.
During the study, technicians will take measurements of your brainwaves while you sleep and chart your sleep behavior; however, there are certain actions you need to take to prepare for a sleep study.
Your doctor will have you keep a diary of your sleep habits. You will usually be given a form to fill out for every day for the two weeks prior to the sleep study. You’ll be ask about when you went to sleep, how long you slept each night, if there were any unusual stressors, and any incidents that you were aware of during your sleep.
Make sure that two to three days prior to the sleep study, you keep to your usual sleep habits. The technicians will learn the most if you are neither more rested nor more tired during the sleep study than you are normally.
Your doctor will determine which medications, if any, you should discontinue on the night before the test. For example, if you are on any sedatives you will usually be asked not to take them as usual on that night.
You will also be advised of certain foods you should avoid on the night and day before the sleep study. Nothing caffeinated will be allowed — no coffee, caffeinated soda, tea, chocolate, or energy drinks. Some doctors may even recommend as many as three days of this caffeine-free diet regime before having the test.
Since you will be hooked up via many wire leads to medical monitoring equipment, you will need to prepare your body for the sleep study. You should be clean, but avoid any sticky or oily grooming products.
Pack a bag with anything that you regularly have in bed when you sleep, such as a special pillow and your normal sleepware, of course. All you have to do is to relax and let the sleep center technicians do their jobs. Soon you’ll know exactly what happens to you when you sleep.