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My sleep study was pretty unremarkable. It was like a hotel room, except with shit glued to your head. Bring your toiletries because you WILL want to shower in the morning because of all the goop they put on you. If you're having apnea, they'll wake you up in the middle of the night to put on a mask and then see if it helps.

 

For me, I had absolutely zero traces of sleep apnea and I never slept better in my whole life than I did during that sleep study. I think the bed was a Tempurpedic. It was fucking heavenly. I fell asleep right away around 11 and then woke up naturally, wide awake, at 5:30. I've never slept so well at home. I considered just begging them to let me have the mattress.

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I haven't had one but my husband has. His experience was a far less happy one. He said the bed was so narrow he couldn't roll over at all, it was hard and he had so many wires stuck to him he was scared to move. He needed the toilet at some point but it was too much of an ordeal to get the nurse in and go up the hallway to the toilet so he hung on. They woke him up at some tragic hour of the morning and packed him on his way. He said he didn't feel as though he even dropped off let alone slept enough to snore or discover apnoea (he does do it but not enough to need treatment).

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I've had one.  There were nice accommodations ... my head was hooked up to a bunch of electrodes that were hooked to a main machine.  When I went i had to be sleep deprived, meaning I had to be awake early the day before and all day, before having the study. 

 

Definitely bring things to shower in the morning.  The glue that attaches the electrodes to your head is hard to get out (takes a good scrubbing).  Bring everything you'll need to shower, shampoo, brush, soap, whatever else. 

 

They had a double bed, sink to get ready for bed, a bathroom, a TV ... basics.  Bring a book or music or something if you usually use that to help you fall asleep.  We were allowed to bring our own pillow if we wanted to, but they did supply them, as many as I wanted.  I also brought food in case I got hungry.

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My SO had one, similar to other stories.  Electrodes all over his head. He felt like he did not sleep at all but they found sleep apnea big time. Thank god for my sister in law.  She suggested the study and at that time we had no idea what sleep apnea was.  She saved his heart for sure. I think he brought his own pillow. 

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As everyone has said, I had electrodes glued to my head and I think a few on my chest.  There was also a camera in the upper corner of the room to record my sleep. They gave me an Ambien to help me sleep and then started the test.  They woke me halfway through the night and put me on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and then continued to record my sleep.  They woke me again at 6:30 am and sent me on my way.

 

I have slept with a CPAP since that time (2007, I think).  Happy to answer any questions you have about the machine, etc.

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I've had them done probably a half-dozen times over the years. 

 

I've been to a couple of different facilities. The first one I went to I didn't like -- I never actually saw a doctor, and it seemed like kind of a scam. The second one is excellent - I met with the doctor before the test, and have periodic follow up visits to check my status and how I'm doing with the device (I use a BiPAP -- originally had very severe sleep apnea, have lost ~100 pounds and still have some minor issues.)

 

The specifics of what happens will depend on the test your doctor has ordered, and what they encounter during the test, whether you already have a CPAP/BiPAP, and so on.

 

But everybody has described it pretty well. Expect to arrive in the evening. The doctor/test center will tell you what time to arrive and what you can/should bring with you. Expect to fill out a number of questionnaires about your health and sleep habits.

 

You'll get wired...generally, leads on your head/skull for electroencephalograph, chest/leg for electrocardiograph, something wrapped around your chest for respirations, and probably something stuck to a finger for pulse oximetry. You may get something that looks like an oxygen tube which also measures respirations and can check for snoring. Your eyes to check for eye movement. Possibly sensors on your legs to check for leg movement.

 

Depending on what they're checking, there can be a hell of a lot of wires. Nothing is painful -- it all falls in the inconvenient/cumbersome camp. It's not really bad, at least compared to some things I've had done, but if you have anxiety issues or worry about being constrained, it might be a little triggering. Mention it to your doctor and/or the technician.

 

As mentioned, it's convenient to use the rest room just before they start to hook you up. Although if you wake up in the night and have to go, it's usually not that bad -- most of the wiring is fed into a harness that can be disconnected. You just carry it with you and when you're done, you get plugged back in. 

 

In the morning, they take it all off. The places I've had it done have showers so you can clean up. I usually try to arrange the test schedule so I can just come home and clean up -- I'm more comfortable that way.

 

You shouldn't expect the technician(s) to tell you anything about the results. It's like most medical tests, the results have to be interpreted by the doctor.

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thank you all, this is really helpful information. i'll read through their instructions, but I appreciate hearing the first hand experiences

 

I've got to the do the overnight one and then a nap test the next day (something like they send me to a quiet dark room for a period of time every few hours to see if I fall asleep).

Edited by dancesintherain
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I have had several sleep studies and a sleep study with a nap test. The first time I went through it all, I had to go back in a second time for titration of the CPAP machine, they didn't wake me up and put it on during the first sleep study. Maybe it's just a different procedure for that lab.

For the sleep study, they have you arrive in the evening, hook you up with all the wires, and put you to bed. You are able to watch TV for a while, but they actually got irritated with me for staying up too late, even though it was earlier than my usual bedtime. I have never slept well during a sleep study. I don't sleep well when I'm not at home, and they wake me up ungodly early, even if I do go to bed as soon as they finish hooking me up.

For the nap study, they kept me in the same room, and had me lay down for a nap every couple hours. They were testing to see how long it took me to fall asleep to see if I had narcolepsy.

When it's all over they let you shower. I bring my shower stuff there because I don't want to go outside with all that goop on, but that's just me. I would recommend brining extra shampoo because it can take a few washes to get the goo out of your hair.

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My sleep study was pretty unremarkable. It was like a hotel room, except with shit glued to your head. Bring your toiletries because you WILL want to shower in the morning because of all the goop they put on you.

 

Haha! This, pretty much. It's an unremarkable experience, generally. I didn't do the nap test though, so I can't speak to that. I, who tend to sleep poorly in unfamiliar places, rested well, though. It was quiet and peaceful, for the most part. I wasn't disturbed much once the initial prep was done. I'm a night owl, so that was a wrinkle and I had to adjust my schedule a week or so in advance so I would sleep, but otherwise it was pretty low key.

 

I realize this is easier said than done, but try to keep a peaceful mind. I was anxious when I went in, and it took me awhile to fall asleep. I think it would have been better if I'd done some relaxation stuff beforehand.

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