The technician will check you in and take your vital signs. Then you will be escorted to your private bedroom. Along the way, you are likely to see the central monitoring area, where the technicians monitor sleeping patients. It is done by means of computers and video. The technicians will be able to react quickly if you need help or have a question while in your room with the two-way intercom and video monitoring systems.
You have arrived at your private bedroom. It resembles a hotel room or your bedroom at home. You will be asked to slip into your pajamas before the process of hooking up the surface electrodes (leads) begins. The hook-up process takes place in your bedroom.
Once you are hooked up and the preparation is over, you may have some time to relax before dropping off to sleep. Most clinics allow the patient to choose their bedtime, within reason. Televisions are provided, but you may want to bring a book or magazine. Also, the technician can adjust your bedroom's temperature to suit your personal preference.
Setup can take 30-45 minutes or more in order to get everything connected properly. There are a larger number of supplies that are used in the process. The two belts are placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your respiratory efforts, and oximetry probe on your finger measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. The electrodes are placed to your skin and scalp with paste, gauze, and hypoallergenic tape. Don't worry, the paste comes off easily after your sleep study.
The set up tray contains additional items for patient hookup including: electrode wires, marking pencils, tape measure, gauze pads, cotton tipped applicators, alcohol prep pads, electrode paste and gel based abrasive skin prep.
A key part of a sleep study is to understand what is happening while you sleep. By attaching the electrodes to your body, the recorded electrical signals generated by your brain and muscle activity are sent back through the wires and recorded digitally on the computer. The technicians pay close attention to the activity of each patient throughout the sleep study. The pattern of this activity can be recognized by a Boarded Sleep Specialist Physician who "reads" or interprets the study. These valuable clues reveal whether or not you have a sleep disorder, and if present, how severe it is.