Sleep Study

What Is a Sleep Study?

If you have trouble sleeping, your doctor may refer you for an overnight sleep study at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Your study will take place in a state-of-the-art sleep lab at our Sleep Disorders Center, and you’ll be monitored overnight by noninvasive equipment that measures sleep, respiration, snoring, muscle activity, heart rhythm and position. On the day of your sleep study we ask that you:

  • Not drink caffeinated beverages or nap after noon on the day of the study.
  • Wash hair, shower and shave before coming in. This helps us obtain quality signals throughout the night.
  • Bring a list of medications including names and doses. If medications are taken at night, bring these to the study. We aren’t able to give out medications in the Sleep Disorders Center lab.
  • Bring things from home that will make you comfortable such as a book, favorite pillow or blanket.
  • Wear pajamas that have a separate top and bottom.

Nap Studies at Our Sleep Disorders Center

You may also be scheduled for a nap study, known as a multiple sleep latency test or maintenance of wakefulness test, on the day following your overnight sleep study. At our center:

  • Meals will be provided throughout the day.
  • You’ll have free time between five scheduled naps.
  • Televisions and DVD players are available for use.
  • You have to remain at the Sleep Disorders Center throughout the day, but may make telephone calls.
  • Visitors are usually discouraged.
  • Once the test is completed, monitoring devices will be removed and you may go back to usual activities without limitations.

What Information Is Collected During a Sleep Study?

A wide range of information is collected during your sleep test; therefore it may take several days to get a final report. Your sleep doctor will receive a preliminary report the morning after the test and you’ll receive the results at your follow-up visit. You should call your sleep doctor’s office to make a follow-up appointment after the sleep study if one has not been scheduled.

After Your Sleep Study

A sleep doctor, psychologist and/or dentist will work with you to develop a treatment plan, which includes follow-up appointments to monitor progress and address problems. If you’re diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your treatment may also include a close working relationship with a home care company and their sleep doctor.

Your doctor will send the results of evaluation, test results and follow-up to your primary care physician. We’ll also work with your other health care providers to help reach the best possible outcomes.