For questions or to schedule a sleep study appointment, call:
Your Comprehensive Sleep Evaluation
During sleep, the body functions differently than while awake. Disrupted sleep can disturb daytime activities and, sometimes, medical problems during sleep involve a risk to basic health.
A polysomnogram (sleep study) is a procedure designed to evaluate your physical state during sleep periods. The length and quality of your sleep are measured and analyzed.
Measurements taken while you sleep include:
- Brain waves
- Heart rate
- Eye, chin and leg movement
- Breathing, breathing effort and movement
- Blood oxygen levels.
Electrodes and sensors are applied in a way that permits you to turn and move during sleep. A washable adhesive is used to attach the devices to your skin. Generally, you will not be aware that you are wearing the devices after they have been on for a short time.
Sleep onset and awakenings are recorded and the patient is routinely videotaped to correlate body positions and movements.
The following are two tests your physician may order in addition to your initial polysomnogram. The tests are sometimes performed while you are here for your initial study.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): the MSLT measures the severity of daytime sleepiness. This test consists of a series of two to five 20-minute naps given every two hours throughout the day. The same kind of information is measured as a polysomnogram.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): if the initial polysomnogram documents a significant breathing disorder, CPAP is sometimes used to treat the disorder. CPAP is a method of delivering the necessary air pressure through a nasal mask, which maintains an open airway during sleep.
What to Expect During Your Sleep Study
The night of your study, bring your nightclothes, toiletries, medication and any personal belongings (pillow, blanket, etc.) that may help you sleep more comfortably. Your nightclothes should be loose and preferably two-piece as there will be electrodes attached to your calves and chest. Please do not wear satin, nylon or silk. The room is equipped with a television and you may bring books or magazines with you.
The technologist will review the sleep study procedure and go over the paperwork. You will change into your nightclothes and get ready for bed. The technologist will attach the electrodes and sensors and help you get settled into bed. You will have contact with the technologist at all times by an intercom system. At any time during the night, feel free to request a drink of water, an extra blanket or a visit to the restroom.
You will be awakened around 5:00am to 5:30am to change out of your nightclothes and be discharged unless you are staying for an MSLT. If you are staying for an MSLT, breakfast and lunch will be provided. Shower facilities are available.
Download the sleep study instructions »
Scheduling Your Sleep Study
After your physician refers you for a sleep study, you may contact Sleep Health at 703-369-8268 to schedule an appointment. Because most people sleep at night, the study will take place at night—with the exception of an MSLT. If you work at night and sleep during the day, your study will be scheduled during the day.