Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT IS A POLYSOMNOGRAM?
A polysomnogram is a test that measures body functions during sleep. Each test will vary depending on the individual case, and some measurements taken may include:
Brain Waves(EEG) (surface electrodes on the head)
Heart Rate(EKG) (surface electrodes on chest)
Eye Movements(EOG) (surface electrodes above and below the eye)
Muscle Movements(EMG) (surface electrodes on and under chin)
Limb Movements(EMG) (surface electrodes on the lower leg and arm)
Breathing (Nasal/Oral) (sensors placed onto the skin near the nose and mouth)
Breathing(Respiratory Effort) (small, elastic hands placed around the chest and/or surface electrodes placed on the ribcage)
Blood Oxygen Levels(Sp02) (small probe attached to the finger, and not taken from actual blood samples)
Other body functions may be recorded to answer special questions about such things as C02, pH, and impotence.
Sensor attachment will be done utilizing collodion(a glue-like substance) which is easily removed. Please prepare for this process by washing hair thoroughly before your visit to the Sleep Clinic.
A video recording will be done in some circumstances.
2. WHY RECORD ALL OF THESE THINGS?
Disrupted sleep can disturb daytime activities, and sometimes, medical problems during sleep involve a risk to basic health. These parameters are recorded to obtain objective information about the quality of sleep to better define your sleep problem.
3. HOW CAN I SLEEP WITH ALL THESE THINGS ON ME?
Surprisingly, most people sleep well. The body sensors are applied in a manner that will allow you to turn and move during sleep. Generally, you will not be aware that you are wearing the devices after they have been on for a short time.
Our staff makes the environment as comfortable as possible, and many patients report that they actually sleep better here than at home. Remember that this is not a performance test, but merely a recording of how you sleep.
4. WILL THE SENSOR DEVICE HURT?
NO! Sometimes, in rubbing the skin, there are mild temporary irritations. You may experience temporary discomfort associated with the Pes procedure. However, this does not generally cause any significant pain.
5. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
A technologist will greet you at 8:15 pm in the waiting room.
There will be additional paperwork to complete.
We will apply electrodes and sensors over a period of 1-2 hours with frequent breaks. You may watch television and/or videotapes during this procedure.
We will provide instruction on CPAP and BIPAP usage if prescribed. This may be conducted in a group setting.
You may go to sleep at your normal bedtime within the constraints of the sleep clinic protocol.
During the recording process, your sleeping patterns will be observed, and a Polysomnographic Technologist will assist you as needed during the entire recording process.
We typically awaken patients between 6 am-7 am unless an earlier wake-up time is desirable. Please keep in mind that the equipment takes 15 minutes to remove.
6. WILL I BE GIVEN A DRUG TO HELP ME SLEEP?
In most cases, sleeping pills are not needed, but if you are having a difficult time sleeping, we may consider using a medication to help you sleep.
PLEASE DO NOT STOP ANY OF YOUR MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR SLEEP PHYSICIAN.
7. WHAT IS MULTIPLE SLEEP LATENCY TEST?
Some patients also participate in daytime testing. This test consists of a series of 20-minutes nap opportunities. We record information similar to the polysomnogram. The naps are conducted every two hours throughout the day. During the nap period, you are encouraged to sleep and during the breaks, you must stay awake, otherwise, the study is compromised. In general, this study is concluded between 5 pm - 6 pm.
8. WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
You must bring bedclothes (preferably two-piece pajamas or shorts and a T-shirt).
Something to read or to work on during non-sleep periods. You may bring a favorite video to view in your room prior to bedtime.
Limited family members/friends (1-2) are welcome to accompany you until bedtime. Please note: We do not provide sleeping accommodations (recliner) except for those attending to children and/or disabled persons.
Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, shampoo etc.) and a change of clothes for the next day. The Sleep Clinic provides towels and bedding, and there are toilet and shower facilities available.
ANY NEEDED MEDICATIONS! Please bring a list of medications you have taken during the past month.
You may bring a special pillow, stuffed animal, or white noise device if desired. Children should bring favorite blankets, books or toys. Please do not bring pets.
If you have used a CPAP/BIPAP machine, please bring your ancillary equipment (mask and headgear), please do not bring the machine
9. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT REGARDING MEAL SERVICE?
The Sleep Disorders Clinic is an outpatient facility. Meal service is not provided, except for patients scheduled for daytime nap testing (MSLT). Please eat dinner prior to arrival at 8:15 pm! Please plan to bring snacks and drinks or refreshments, if you so desire during your stay in the Sleep Clinic.
10. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS I SHOULD KEEP IN MIND DURING MY VISIT IN THE SLEEP CLINIC?
The reception and scheduling offices closes at 5:00 pm. The Sleep Medicine Services re-opens at 8:00 pm for overnight studies. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARRIVE ON TIME: If you need to cancel your overnight sleep appointment or are running late after our office closes, please call Sleep Medicine Services at (408 295-4532) and leave a message.
If you have difficulty staying alert while driving please make arrangements for transportation to and from the Sleep Clinic.
No Smoking is allowed inside the O'Connor Health Center according to building, hospital, and state regulations. There is a smoking area outside the building.
11. IS THIS TEST COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Our OUTPATIENT services are routinely covered by most major insurance companies. We recommend that you check with your company about the details, regarding coverage for sleep testing, treatment, and follow-up care (durable medical equipment). We will provide medical descriptions of the tests provided if this is useful for insurance purposes. If you have any insurance questions or concerns, please contact the Clinic Office Assistant at (408 295-4532).
12. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POLYSOMNOGRAM?
The record of your sleep test will probably be about 1,000 pages long and is stored on paper or optical disk. It will be analyzed in detail by a technologist and interpreted by a physician. The information will then be forwarded to your referring physician and you the patient. You will be contacted as soon as possible with a preliminary impression. You are also asked to make a return office visit appointment to discuss the results and a treatment plan with your sleep clinic physician.