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Common Patient Questions

Do I need to fast for this study?
No. We recommend you eat your regular meal prior to arriving. Don’t arrive hungry. However, avoid caffeine and alcohol on the day of the study.

Do I take my regular medication?
Yes. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, bring all your medication and medical equipment that you normally need during the night. Diabetics need to bring snacks or insulin if necessary. If your doctor prescribes a sleeping pill, bring it but do not take it until you are directed to do so by the sleep staff.

Are there special instructions for this study?
Yes. Please shampoo your hair and shower prior to arriving. In order to log a clear recording, hair and skin must be free of oils, gels, glue, hairsprays and hairpieces and dry. Removable wigs are acceptable. Don’t nap during the day of the study.

Will someone be watching me sleep?
Not directly. But a remote, visual recording of your sleep corresponding to the clinical data is essential for your safety, quality assurance and a complete diagnosis. All monitoring is private and protected.

Can I bring someone to stay with me?
Yes. You may bring one caretaker if you normally use one (i.e. a caregiver for a developmentally challenged adult), an adult guest or a spouse.

May I smoke?
No. Smoking is not allowed in the UF Health Sleep Center. You will not be able to interrupt the all-night sleep recording to smoke.

What do I need to bring with me?
Bring a list of your current medications, your own sleepwear, any special pillows you normally use, and personal hygiene products.

What happens if I need to get out of bed during the night?
A technologist will be there to assist you in getting out of bed or if you need anything throughout the night. Our sleep center is equipped with full bathrooms in each patient room.

When will I receive my results?
In most cases, results will be available to the ordering physician within two weeks of your polysomnography. For your protection, the sleep technologists are not allowed to disclose any information about the sleep study results to patients. The physician who ordered the study will be able to discuss the results with you.

Will my insurance cover the cost of the sleep study and treatment?
Most insurance plans cover the cost of the sleep study and treatment of sleep disorders. Check with your insurance provider for more details.

Can sleep disorders be diagnosed in one session?
In many cases, only one overnight recording is necessary to diagnose some sleep problems. An additional overnight stay may be required for complex problems.

I work evening/midnight/overnight shifts. Am I still eligible to participate in a sleep study?
Yes. Daytime sleep studies may be scheduled for shift-workers accustomed to working overnight and sleeping during the day.

Common Parent Questions

Do I need to stay overnight with my child?
Yes. An adult must stay in the room at all times with children under the age of 18. Please bring any bottles, diapers or food you or your child may require during the night.

How many sensors will be placed on my child?
Depending on the test preformed there can be up to 30 sensors placed on the patient. The sensors are the same as those used for adult patients, only smaller.

Will the sensors hurt?
No, the sensors are applied with a thick paste to make them stick. The paste is hypoallergenic, and does not cause irritation. The paste can be washed out with warm water and soap in the morning after the study is complete.

What should I bring for my child?
You may bring a book, DVD, snacks, and anything that you would normally use to help your child sleep at home. Many times, it is important to have something familiar for your child, like their pillow or favorite stuffed animal, to help ease the anxiety of having a sleep study.

Sleep Hygiene Guidelines

  • It is best to avoid reading, watching TV, eating, exercise, listening to the radio, doing office or home work in bed or in the bedroom. These activities lead us to associate the bed with other activities other than sleep, and it often becomes difficult to fall asleep. Reserve the bed for sleep and intimacy only.
  • Both noise and light disrupt sleep. During the sleep period, minimize noise, such as all night TV or radio, light, and temperature extremes. Use earplugs, window blinds, an electric blanket or air conditioner as necessary.
  • Room temperature should not exceed 75 degrees or go below 54 degrees.
  • The steady hum of an AC or fan (“white noise”) may help by obscuring other noises. Sleep in another room if disturbed by your bed partner’s snoring or restlessness.
  • Try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This may reduce awakenings due to urination.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime and upon night awakenings. If you do smoke, avoid nicotine 30 to 45 minutes before bed.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant and should be discontinued after lunch, certainly four to six hours before bedtime. Caffeine in coffee, soda, tea, chocolate and in some medications stays in your system up to 12 hours.
  • Alcohol is a depressant. Although it may help you fall asleep, it causes awakenings later in the night. As alcohol is digested, your body goes into withdrawal from the alcohol. This may cause nighttime awakenings and often nightmares.
  • A light snack may be sleep inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime may interfere with sleep. Avoid massive amounts of protein (unless in a heavy exercise regimen and instructed by physician) and try eating carbohydrates or dairy products.
  • Do not exercise vigorously near bedtime. At least 30 minutes of moderate, late afternoon exercise resets your internal clock, enhances the quality and amount of your deep sleep stages, and may improve mood.
  • Keep a regulated sleep and rise time.
  • If alert in the middle of the night, do a peaceful activity in another room until sleepiness returns.
  • Don’t lie in bed longer than your night’s sleep.
  • Avoid afternoon naps.
  • Write nagging worries on a bedside notepad when they occur to help you forget them.
  • A regular sleep ritual (warm bath, dental hygiene, yoga, or religious observance) may prepare you for sleep.
  • Soaking your feet for 15 minutes in a hot water bath just prior to lights-out has recently been demonstrated to significantly improve restfulness.
  • Remember that insomnia is better treated by good sleep hygiene, not by long term use of sleeping pills.
  • Sleep is easily disturbed by untreated mood disorders, inadequate pain management, or by poor management of your personal affairs.