Patient Resources

What to Expect During a Sleep Study

A sleep study is a recording of measurements used to identify various sleep conditions. Before the test, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the sleep study. During testing, small sensors are applied to your skin with adhesive pads. These are necessary to monitor brain waves, muscle movement, breathing, snoring and heart rate. A soft belt is placed around your chest and waist to monitor your breathing. Finally, a sensor is attached to your finger to record your oxygen levels. None of these devices are painful and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible, allowing you to turn and move during sleep. You will also be able to get out of bed and use the restroom. Simply use the call bell and the technician will quickly unhook you from the sensors and you will be free to use your private bathroom.

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Sleep technicians will recommend that you sleep on your back for a portion of the night as this is when the best clinical data is generated.

Continuous audio and video recording will monitor patients undergoing medical procedures at the Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Centers. You will have access to a bathroom for full privacy and will use it for changing clothes. 

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Preparing for an overnight sleep study

Eat your evening meal before arriving. Bring any special diet snack foods that you may require before bed. We will have light snacks and ice water, juice, hot coffee or tea available. We will provide a continental breakfast the morning after your study.

Avoid caffeinated products, alcoholic beverages and napping 12 hours prior to your study. We will need to access your scalp for placement of electrodes, so your scalp and skin must be free from all products to enable the placement of electrodes. We highly recommend that you shower before arriving.

We recommend you take any medication prior to entering the sleep center unless it makes you drowsy or were specifically prescribed for bedtime. Please bring any medication inside its prescription bottles. We do not provide any medication at our sleep centers.

What should I bring for an overnight sleep study?

You must bring your photo ID and insurance Card. If a caretaker or family member is accompanying you, they also must present their photo ID.

Bring comfortable clothing to sleep in, toiletries, and any medications you take in their original prescription bottles. You can also bring your e-reader and iPads to make your stay more comfortable. A TV is located in your bedroom as well.

To ensure the highest level of comfort for our patients, make sure to bring your own personal pillow(s).

Preparing for a Home Sleep Apnea Test appointment

If you are completing a Home Sleep Apnea Test, please arrive on time at the sleep center location in which you were scheduled and check in with the receptionist. All you need to bring to your appointment is your insurance card and a photo ID.

What will happen after my sleep study?

Overnight guests can expect to be discharged between 6:00-6:30AM. Please note that at most locations you will be served a complimentary, continental breakfast. If you have an early commitment in the morning, be sure to inform the technician so they can ensure you are able to leave on time.

Daytime study guests can expect to be discharged between 5:00-5:30PM. Please note that you will be served a complimentary breakfast or lunch, depending on your type of study.

Once the study is complete, all patients will be given a summary report that outlines their next steps. Often the next step is having a follow-up appointment with your physician or a sleep center physician to discuss the results of your study. After you depart, your sleep study is analyzed and the scored results are produced for the physician to interpret.

Sleep Tips

For most people, falling asleep and staying asleep are parts of a natural process. Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but distractions and bad habits keep us awake. Good sleepers are likely to have developed certain lifestyle and dietary habits that promote sound sleep. These habits or behaviors - known as sleep hygiene - can have positive effects on sleep before, during and after time spent in bed. Paying attention to good sleep hygiene is the most important thing you can do to maintain a good sleep. Use the techniques suggested below to help you sleep better on a regular basis.

  • Keep regular sleep habits. Establish a rhythm by going to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, including weekends and days off.
  • Exercise regularly, preferably in the morning. If not possible, finish at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a warm bath, utilize aromatherapy, read or listen to soothing music.
  • Eat healthy and, while a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals, especially late.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol prior to bedtime can worsen one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Create an environment conducive to sleep. Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
  • Leave your worries at the bedroom door. If you are concerned about something, make a list of the steps you will take to solve the problem or leave yourself a voicemail message.
  • Your bed should be for sleep or sickness only. If you are unable to fall asleep and stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not allow yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom and return to bed only when you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night. Do not read, watch TV or do work in bed for an extended time.
  • Avoid napping during the daytime. If daytime sleepiness becomes overwhelming, limit naptime to a single nap of 20 minutes of less and no later than 5 p.m.

Additional Resources

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Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center - Atlanta
993 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Building C, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30342
404-236-8200 Get Directions Specialty Care
Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center - Cherokee
460 Northside Cherokee Blvd
Suite T20
Canton, GA 30115
770-721-9320 Get Directions Specialty Care
Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center - Forsyth
1100 Northside Forsyth Drive
Suite 230
Cumming, GA 30041
770-844-3498 Get Directions Specialty Care
Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center - Gainesville
1071 South Enota Drive NE
Suite B
Gainesville, GA 30501
770-536-6207 Get Directions Specialty Care
Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center - Roswell
1357 Hembree Road
Suite 120
Roswell, GA 30076
678-323-1730 Get Directions Specialty Care