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Sleep Studies: Frequently Asked Questions

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I Think I Need a Sleep Study. What Should I Do?

Visit your primary care doctor to discuss your sleep symptoms.

He or she will be able to refer you to the UPMC Hamot Sleep Disorders Center for a sleep study.

How Should I Prepare for My Sleep Study?

On the day of your study, you should not nap. You should also avoid caffeine after noon.

Because we will be placing several sensors on your body, please do the following before arriving to the Sleep Disorders Center:

  • Wash your hair so it's free of hair-care products.
  • Remove all makeup.
  • Remove at least one acrylic nail (if you wear them), so we can accurately measure your oxygen level.

What Should I Bring to the Sleep Disorders Center?

  • Any medications that you regularly take
  • Comfortable bed clothes
  • Photo ID
  • Insurance cards

Should I Take My Usual Medicines Before and During My Sleep Study?

Yes, unless your doctor tells you differently.

What is the Testing Procedure Like?

Sleep studies, also called polysomnography, are painless procedures. The purpose of the test is to gather measurements during sleep (brain activity, EKG, and breathing).

To take these measurements, we:

  • Attach electrodes to the scalp, chest, abdomen, and legs.
  • Attach elastic bands around the chest and belly.
  • Use nasal tubing similar to oxygen tubing.

» Polysomnography: learn more in our Health Library.

What Time Will I Go to Sleep and Wake Up?

Lights out is normally between 10 and 10:30 p.m. and we will wake you up between 5:30 and 6 a.m.

If your natural bed and wake times are much earlier or later than this, please contact the UPMC Hamot Sleep Disorders Center before your sleep study appointment so we can make special arrangements. Our phone number is 814-877-3815.

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