Common Questions about Sleep Studies
How do I prepare for a sleep study?
Before your sleep study at the Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis Sleep Center, the Sleep Center staff will notify you of specific requirements for the day of your sleep study.
You will receive instructions about:
- Caffeine and alcohol use
- hair care
- medication usage
- personal items to bring
How will I be able to sleep in this strange environment?
While you will be attached to a series of wires, those wires will be grouped into a single location near your head, minimizing their interference with your movements. The wires will be inserted into a single box and are easily detached from the box by our technologists if you need to get up to use the restroom during the study.
Most patients are able to fall asleep as they normally would at home.
What happens during a sleep study?
During a sleep study, elastic belts will be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your breathing. A clip will be placed on your finger or earlobe to monitor the oxygen level in your blood as well as your heart rate. And about two dozen painless sensors will be applied to your body’s skin and head to monitor your sleep, brain and body activities.
These sensors monitor:
- Brain waves
- Muscle, eye and leg movements
- Breathing through nose and mouth
- Heart rate
The sleep study will be performed during your regular sleeping schedule. You will be able to sleep as you normally do – in the same position and able to roll over as needed. You also will be able to get up to use the bathroom if needed.
Our technologists will monitor your sleep patterns throughout the night, making sure you are safe and identifying any immediately noticeable sleep problems. If our technician observes a breathing problem during your sleep, he or she might wake you and ask you to try a positive airway pressure (PAP) device [sfI-services-sleeplab-sleep testing-pap tritation] to treat the problem while you sleep.
Your sleep will be videotaped for further analysis by our sleep center staff. All testing equipment (other than the wires attached to you) is in another room, separate from the sleeping room.
Some patients might be nervous or unable to get comfortable as quickly as usual. The sleep specialist recognizes that your sleep at our center is not exactly like your sleep at home. However, this should not affect the results of your sleep study.
What happens after my sleep study?
A sleep study is a complex study that requires analysis and interpretation of a large amount of data by specially trained professionals. A sleep technologist scores the data, and then a sleep specialist interprets it. The process involves as many as 1,000 or more pages of data that must be reviewed. The process takes time, so results will not be immediately available. Our staff will give you an approximate timeline of when you can expect to hear the results.
You may be asked to schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your results. Or you might receive your results by phone. If you were referred to our sleep center by your primary care physician, you should also discuss the results with him or her.
For more information on sleep studies, call the Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis Sleep Center at (317) 528-8144.