More people and their physicians are looking at sleep habits and problems that might be contributing to problems such as hypertension, difficult to control diabetes and congestive heart failure.  They are also looking beyond medications to take care of issues like chronic fatigue.  Snoring is looked at as something more significant then an annoyance.  To find out the source of the problem a sleep study has been scheduled.  Unfortunately not much is explained before the study and it is hard to figure out what is expected by talking to friends and family.  There are a few tips to make the experience more pleasant and get a good night sleep


  1. Take a tour of lab.  If the doctor owns the lab you can probably take the tour the day the appointment is scheduled.  However, if you are going to an independent or hospital based lab then taking the time to visit the facility to will give you and idea of what to expect and if you feel you can not sleep in that facility it gives you a chance to call another center or discuss other options with your physician
  2. Make sure your sleep clothes are comfortable.  Many facilities keep the rooms cool to prevent sweating.  If you know that you will be cold bring socks and warmer clothes.  If you tend to be hot during the night shorts and a t-shirt may be all you need.
  3. Bring your pillow or blanket.  Bring something with you that will make you feel like you are sleeping at home.  Many people prefer their own pillow or blanket.  Other may bring their child’s teddy bear or an object that belongs to their spouse. 
  4. Read all the paperwork and instructions carefully.  Different facilities have different requirements for preparation.  Some basics will be to have your hair washed with no products in it, no lotion on your face and legs, and to avoid caffeine the day of the study. Make sure all paperwork is filled out and a list of all medications you are on is attached. Some labs will want you off or on certain medications. 
  5. Talk to your doctor if you feel you can not fall asleep.  Some labs will prescribe a sleep aid for you to take if you try to fall asleep and are unable to.  If you know you have anxiety issues or you have a history of first night effect, the inability to fall asleep in a strange bed the first night, having some medication as a back up might prevent you from having to come back for a second study.  This is also useful if you need a titration study.  Adjusting to CPAP can take some times.  If you have a sleep aide or anti anxiety medication it might make the adjustment to the CPAP go a little more smoothly.


Having a sleep study can be very stressful if you do not prepare for it.  But these steps will help to make you more comfortable and allow your sleep through the night.  The closer your sleep is to sleep at home the more likely the lab will be able to find a problem you might be having. 


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