Diagnosing a Sleep Disorder

Diagnosing a Sleep Disorder

Most patients will have an initial consultation that will include a medical and surgical history. If you can, keep a sleep log for two weeks and bring it to your initial consultation. Some patients will also have pulmonary function tests and blood work.

After consultation with a sleep specialist, each patient is diagnosed. In some cases one visit is sufficient for a diagnosis to be made and a treatment plan formulated. In many cases the evaluation will require an overnight sleep study or polysomnography (PSG). Rarely daytime studies may be indicated.

About the Sleep Study

Sleep studies can be performed in the comfort of your home to screen for sleep disordered breathing. However, more extensive screening can be conducted at our Center during an overnight sleep study, which is completed by 8:00 am, and it is usually not necessary to miss a day of work. The patient is monitored by painless, noninvasive technology. A PSG records breathing, heart rate, brain waves, oxygen levels, and eye and leg movement. After evaluation the appropriate treatment for your condition is determined.

Call the Sleep Center for questions or further information on preparing for your sleep study.

Preparing for your Overnight Sleep Study

To ensure that your sleep study is technically accurate and that your overnight stay in the laboratory is a comfortable one, you are asked to prepare for your study in the following ways:

  • Pack a small bag with all of the items you will need for an overnight stay away from home, such as bed clothes and toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.).
  • Pack your prescription medication. The sleep lab does not stock or dispense any prescription or nonprescription medication.
  • Our technical staff consists of both men and women. There is only one technician on duty at a time. We cannot accommodate requests regarding the gender of your technician.
  • If you are in the habit of reading before sleep, bring a book or other reading material.
  • Unless otherwise instructed by a physician from the Center for Sleep Medicine, do not alter your sleep schedule during the week prior to your study. This helps to ensure that your night in the laboratory is representative of a typical night of sleep.
  • Please arrive at the laboratory on time. After 7:00 pm, if you expect to be delayed for your study, please call 212-241-2989.
  • Avoid caffeinated food or beverages after noon on the day of the study.
  • Do not drink alcohol on the day of the study.
  • It is advisable that your skin and hair are clean. This improves the ability to apply and remove electrodes. Use shampoo, but no oil or conditioners, on your hair, scalp, or skin.
  • If you develop a cold or respiratory infection this may affect reliability of study results. Please contact us immediately so that you can be rescheduled for a different night.
  • The test will conclude at your normal wake up time. Because electrode paste will have been applied to your skin and scalp, you will have the opportunity to shower in the morning before leaving the laboratory.

Learn More About Sleep Disorders >