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Preparing for your overnight sleep study

Please do not nap (except if you have narcolepsy), drink alcohol or take recreational drugs for one week prior to, and during, your sleep study test. Do not consume caffeine (coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate) after noon the day of your test. If your doctor wishes your study to be completed on your current medications, he/she will tell you this. 

The hospital will not responsible for lost, stolen and damaged valuables, and there are no lock-up facilities available in the evening. You will need to bring the following items for your stay:

  • Toiletries including shampoo – note onsite shower facilities are limited and there may be a wait;
  • Sleeping attire (loose fitting only, no tights, no tight clothes);
  • Any medications you require to take during your stay (please bring them in their prescription bottles);
  • Any diaries or records you have been asked to keep;
  • Reading material;
  • Your own pillow, if you like, although the hospital does supply pillows;
  • CPAP mask;

What NOT to bring:

  • Cash in excess of $20.00;
  • Credit cards;
  • Large amount of personal clothing or luggage;
  • Any item of value (e.g. jewelry);
  • Any plug-in electrical appliance;
  • CPAP machine;
  • Please remove your nailpolish

For Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients

We need to study you during a typical night's sleep. If you normally have an alcoholic drink in the evening, continue with your usual practice. Please take all your usual medications. 

If your sleep physician has identified you as being highly probable for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and you meet testing criteria, you may undergo a Level 3 study instead of an in-hospital sleep study.  Level 3 studies involve you taking home a sleep monitor, wearing it for one night and then returning it back to the clinic for analysis.  Level 3 studies are very effective in being able to quickly identify and quantify the degree of OSA present, which then allows for faster treatment. 

Checking in for an Overnight Stay

Please report directly to the Sleep Centre located on the ground floor of the Purdy Pavilion. Once you are checked in, one of our team members will direct you to your room and he/she will explain all the procedures that will be completed for your study. You will be asked some questions about your current health and your sleep.

You are encouraged to ask questions or express any concerns that you may have. The procedure is "non-invasive", meaning there will be no needles. We do require the use of gel to attach the electrodes that can easily be washed out of your hair after the test.  It takes approximately one hour to prepare you for the study. The technologist will be available in the next room and you will be supervised at all times.  You will have the ability to be disconnected during the study to use the restroom or walk around as needed.

The study will take place overnight and finish between 7:30 and 8:00 am. For patients with suspected sleep apnea, a doctor will discuss preliminary results with you in the morning, and may recommend treatment. Other patients are free to leave once the technologist has completed the study. You can buy breakfast in the hospital cafeteria. Patients staying for a daytime test will be served breakfast and lunch from the hospital kitchen.

If you require a second night's evaluation the technologist will inform you of when you should come in. After the first night, you do not need to return to the admitting department; come straight to the laboratory.

Multiple Sleep Latency Tests

The MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test) consists of four or five scheduled twenty-minute naps and runs from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, depending on the results during the day. The earliest you will be discharged is 4:00 pm while the latest is 5:30 pm.

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