Making Decisions About Home Care

Sleep Clinics: What To Expect

by Mae Ferguson

Ever feel like you don't get enough sleep? Can't get your mind, body, or even your legs to relax? Maybe you suffer from snoring? If so, you may have a sleep disorder. However, understanding what is disrupting your slumber should be determined by a doctor to provide a formal diagnosis. As such, a sleep clinic is the best place to start. Not sure what to expect? Here are some tips to help prepare you for pleasant dreams. 

In your patient room, you'll likely find a bed amidst medical equipment. Your comfort level is a priority though, and the staff is there to explain anything you have questions about. You will likely have various monitors attached to your head, face, fingers, legs, etc. These monitors can help provide insight, ranging from what stage of sleep you are experiencing, oxygen levels, heart rate, leg movement, or even teeth grinding. Many rooms for sleep studies can look like something from a hotel, so try not to overthink the situation. 

Your doctor will give you specific instructions, but here's an idea of what may be expected on the day of your sleep study: 

  • Caffeine: If the doctor permits you to drink caffeinated beverages, you may have to stop drinking them by a certain time.

  • Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are typically advised against.

  • No Naps: Generally naps are discouraged since they could disrupt your sleep at night.

  • Makeup: Facial products can make it difficult to attach monitors to your skin, so no need to wear any.

You will likely need to bring a few things with you on the night of the sleep study:

  • Pajamas: Bring whatever you would normally sleep in and be most comfortable wearing at night.

  • Fresh Clothing: Just as you would wake up on a normal day and get dressed, you'll probably want to do the same once your sleep study is complete.

  • Medications: Don't forget to bring any medications or vitamins that you would normally take.

  • Something To Do: A book or magazine that you normally may not read might help you slip into slumber.

Not sure if you're ready to go to a sleep clinic yet? Consider starting a journal, using a phone application, or chart to record your own observations about your sleep patterns. You may find circumstantial factors that are disturbing you, or you may discover patterns that feel out of your control. If you do decide to visit a sleep clinic, you'll have the data from your own experience to share with the doctor. Contact a sleep clinic for more information.