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What is a Sleep Study?


Referrals & Appointments

Sleep Studies
Mon-Sun, 7 pm - 7:30 am

What is a sleep study, and other frequently asked questions about polysomnograms

A polysomnogram, or overnight sleep study, monitors your brain waves, breathing patterns, muscle tone, oxygen levels and heart rate during sleep. Sensors are applied to the surface of the scalp and body to monitor any changes that occur in the body during sleep. Leads are placed on the scalp to monitor sleep and wake activity. Breathing sensors are applied to monitor are any signs of obstructed breathing.

This is a non-invasive procedure and you will not feel any pain during the polysomnogram.

What hapens when I get to the sleep center?

Do people fall asleep with all of those sensors?

What do I bring?

Are there any special considerations for women? 

How should I prepare my child for a sleep study?

When do I get my results?

How do I schedule a sleep study?

What happens when I get to the sleep center?
A technical staff member will escort you to your assigned patient bedroom. Each bedroom is designed for patient comfort in a "hotel style" room. You'll find a queen size bed, storage space, television and private bathroom with a shower in each patient bedroom. See our virtual tour.

The technical staff member will explain the testing procedure that will be performed based on the order received from the referring physician and answer any questions. Following the orientation to the patient surroundings, the technical staff member will instruct the patient to prepare for bed and the technician will return when they are ready.

Prior to applying the leads and sensors needed for the testing procedure, the technician will measure your scalp to ensure the leads will be applied to the appropriate area on the scalp. The technician will clean and prepare the area of the skin the leads will be applied on the scalp and the rest of the body.

Once the leads have been applied, the technician will connect each of the sensors to the sleep system. Keep in mind that the leads are long enough and adjusted to ensure the patient maintains the freedom to move and change position.

A computer test is performed to ensure proper lead placement by having the patient blink their eyes, clench their jaw and breathe nasally and orally.

Patients may read or watch TV until their normal bedtime. Once the lights are turned off, the testing procedure will begin. An infrared camera is installed in each room that will allow the technical staff member to monitor the patient from the control room for safety and to document any changes, without disrupting the patient. Occasionally, the technician will have to enter the room to make adjustments to leads/sensors if a lead/ sensor is providing poor signal quality or if the patient awakens and needs to go to the bathroom.

To ensure that we have acquired an appropriate amount of documentation, the study is ran continuously for a minimum of 7 hours of recording time beginning at lights off. The technician will terminate the study at the conclusion of the required recording time and awaken the patient, unless otherwise instructed by the referring physician.

At the conclusion of the study, the leads and sensors are removed from the patient and the patient is free to prepare for discharge. A discharge questionnaire and satisfaction survey is completed prior to exiting the facility.

Do people fall asleep with all of those sensors?
Although it may take a few minutes longer to fall asleep in an unfamiliar environment, most patients do manage to fall asleep in the sleep center. Staff members make every effort to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible during their stay.

What do I bring?
The sleep center's private bedrooms are similar to hotel rooms. The rooms are supplied with pillows, blankets, towels and washcoths. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom with a shower for patient use upon completion of the testing procedure.

We also recommend the following items for the evening of your study:

  • Your own pillow as it can help you sleep better

  • Bed clothes are necessary, not optional. Please bring something loose and comfortable to wear during the study such as gym shorts and a T-shirt, sweat pants and a T-shirt, or pajamas/nightgown. Pants must be loose fitting and able to be pulled up to knee level for easier electrode application. Please do not wear silky material. Bed clothes are NOT provided. Please bring an extra change of clothing for the morning after the study.

  • Bring any personal toiletries including your oothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, contact lens products, and denture recepticles.

  • Bring any medications, both perscription and over the counter that you need to take while at the sleep center. Technicians will not be able to dispense any medications. Take all medications as you normally would. Do not discontinue any medications without consulting your physician.

  • If desired, bring reading material or anything to occupy your time prior to bedtime. 

  • You may bring snacks and decaffeinated beverages with you.  If you are diabetic, or on a restricted diet, please bring any food items you will need with you. Breakfast is not provided, but patients are offered coffee and juice in the morning prior to discharge. There is a refrigerator available for use during your stay. 

  • There are NO special diet restrictions for the testing procedure but patients should avoid caffeine (coffee, soda, or chocolate) and alcoholic beverages a minimum of 12 hours prior to their scheduled appointment. Patients are encouraged to follow their normal dietary routine prior to their scheduled appointment. Meals must be consumed prior to their scheduled appointment, as the scheduled appointment time is based on test preparation time only. However, patients should avoid ingesting food that could potentially upset their digestive system. Patients are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages to the Edward Sleep Center facility.

  • Please do not bring any valuables with you to your appointment.

Please inform the recording technician if you plan to shower in the morning following your study.

You are scheduled to obtain a minimum of seven hours of total recording time and your bedtime and rise time should be adjusted to allow an adequate amount of recording time and preparation time in the morning. 

Are there any special considerations for women?
For all female patients, a conductive paste will be used to keep the leads that will be placed throughout the scalp in place. Please try to avoid getting your hair done professionally before your scheduled sleep study. If you will be getting ready for work or another appointment before leaving the lab, make sure that you bring all haircare products (shampoo, curling iron etc;)  that you would normally use in the morning.

How should I prepare my child for a sleep study?

If your child is having a sleep study, he or she should follow the same guidelines. Have your child eat a normal dinner prior to his/her sleep study. A light snack is also encouraged.

If your child typically naps during the day, maintain this sleep routine before the test.

IMPORTANT: You will be responsible for giving the medications to your child as the technician is not permitted to do so.

When packing your child's overnight bag, be sure to pack enough items to satisfy your child's need throughout the night and well into the next day. Have your child or teen bring what will make him/her comfortable such as pajamas and a robe, slippers, toothbrush, a favorite blanket, and even a pillow. You can also pack your child's favorite toy, video or game. Children under the age of 13 will be required to have a parent stay the night with them.

When will I get my results?
Sleep study results are generally available within 10 business days and will be interpreted by a sleep specialist. You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to review the results of the sleep study. The sleep lab technician will be unable to review the results of the study with you.


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Edward Hospital & Health Services
801 S. Washington, Naperville, IL 60540 • (630) 527-3000

Naperville • Plainfield • Bolingbrook • Oswego • Woodridge
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