Frequently Asked Sleep Study Questions

Answers from Great River Sleep Disorders Center

group of medical professionals talking while patient is resting

For many patients, the prospect of participating in a sleep study can make them feel uneasy. Many people are hesitant about staying overnight somewhere that is not their home and have anxiety about what a sleep study may require of them. At Great River Sleep Disorders Center, it's our goal to minimize these anxieties and provide all of our patients the information they need before participating in one of our sleep studies.

Below, we have compiled some of the most common questions we receive from patients before participating in our sleep studies. For more answers about your sleep study, call us at (319) 768-4325 today. We're ready to answer your questions.

Sleep Study FAQs

Before The Sleep Study

Can I visit the center before my sleep study?
You can. Great River Health System provides tours of our Sleep Disorders Center. Call us at (319) 768-4325 to schedule a daytime tour before your test. We're happy to accommodate you for a visit.

What information will I receive before the study?
Once you are scheduled for your sleep study, you will be mailed a questionnaire, along with instructions and Sleep Disorders Center phone numbers. We ask that you bring the completed questionnaire and your health insurance card with you on the day of your study.

What if I have special needs?
Contact our office at (319) 768-4325 as early as possible with your specific needs. If you are unable to speak with someone please leave a detailed message with your contact information. We will return your call as soon as possible and make arrangements to accommodate you.

What should I bring to the study?
Please bring something comfortable to sleep in. Below is a checklist that may help to ensure you have everything you might need.

Your sleep study check list should include:

  • Nightclothes
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Change of clothes
  • Medications
  • Special pillow or blanket (if desired)
  • Reading material
  • Snack

What if I have medications?
It's fine to take your medications as usual and bring them to the Sleep Disorders Center, if necessary. Please note that our staff will not be able to provide any medication to you.

Can I wear nail polish?
Yes, however, we may remove nail polish from one finger in order to apply our oxygen sensor during your sleep study.

Can I have dinner the night of the study?
Yes, you should eat dinner before you arrive at your study-dinner will not be provided at our facility. You are allowed to bring an evening snack for your stay with us, as well.

Can I take a nap the day of my study?
To better ensure a full night's rest the night of your study, it's recommended that you refrain from taking any naps earlier that day.

Should I avoid caffeine?
Yes. Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time.

Can I smoke during the study?
Great River Health System Center is a non-smoking facility.

Should I take a shower before going to the study?
This is up to the patient. If you believe that a shower will better relax you and prepare you for sleep, then showering beforehand is recommended. We do ask, however, that all patients remove hair accessories, braids, weaves and do not use any hair product or makeup before coming to the Sleep Disorders Center.

What if I am late to the study?
If you are running late, please call the Sleep Disorders Center by phone at (319) 768-4325 and let us know your approximate time of arrival.

During The Study

What happens when I arrive at the sleep center?
Our studies typically begin in the late evening and conclude early the next morning at approximately 6:00 AM. If you are a second or third shift worker, we will do our best to accommodate your sleeping schedule. Please inform your physician of your sleeping schedule when you are being scheduled for your appointment.

Once you arrive at Great River Health System Center, our sleep technologist will escort you from the Registration Department to the Sleep Disorders Center and provide you several forms to fill out. As part of your orientation, you may be asked to watch a video that will help explain the process.

Will I have a private room for my study?
You will. We provide our sleep study patients with private rooms and each room is equipped with a TV and handicapped accessible bathroom.

How do I get ready for the study?
After changing into sleepwear, our sleep technologist will apply several sensors on you that will monitor your brain waves, breathing, audible snoring, body position, oxygen level and movement. These sensors are then connected to a portable device that transmits signals to sleep monitoring and recording technology we will have nearby.

Will I be able to sleep with the sensors on me?
Wearing the sensors can feel strange at first, but most patients acclimate to them and do not have any trouble falling asleep. If you are uncomfortable, our staff will be there to help remedy the situation.

What happens if I need to go to the bathroom?
If you need to use the bathroom during the sleep study, you can alert your sleep technologist by simply speaking out loud. There is a one-way intercom that the technologist listens to while you are sleeping. You will be temporarily disconnected from the technology so that you can use the bathroom.

What happens during the study while I’m asleep?
While you're asleep, our technologists remain awake in the control room where information is being recorded and compiled. They can analyze this data and help physicians reach a conclusion about your sleep issue.

Will I receive treatment for my disorder at the study?
This depends on what the nature of your issue is. For instance, if a patient is suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), they may receive a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to minimize the effects of their condition. Our The Sleep Disorders Center staff will explain the guidelines for qualifying for treatment prior to you going to sleep.

After The Sleep Study

When will l wake up?
If you are not already awake, you will be awakened between 5:30 AM and 6:15 AM. Special arrangements can be made to accommodate your schedule when necessary.

Does the sleep center provide breakfast?
Breakfast is not provided.

When can I leave the Sleep Disorder Center?
Once the testing has been completed the sleep technologist will remove all of the sensors. This takes approximately 15-30 minutes. Once the sensors have been removed you may get ready for your day as you usually would.

What happens if I am scheduled for a nap test?
A Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) or a Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) may be ordered by your physician as part of your stay at the Sleep Center. These tests require the patient stay for most of the following day for a series of naps. Patients may bring reading materials, personal devices, laptops, or other items that help pass the time. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided if you are staying for one of these additional tests.

What happens after my sleep study?
After the sleep test is completed, a physician who is board certified in sleep medicine will review the information and send recommendations to your physician. In the morning the sleep technologist will provide you with general information concerning your study but will not be able to give you the final results.

When will my physician receive my results?
It may take up to two weeks for your physician to receive your sleep study report. Please schedule a follow-up visit with your physician after that time to discuss the results and treatment options if necessary.