An overnight sleep study, also called a polysomnogram, is a procedure which monitors body functions such as brain waves, heart rate, leg movements and breathing during sleep. You will be monitored by a sleep technologist all night long. There are different types of sleep studies. Diagnostic studies are used to evaluate whether you have a sleep disorder. A CPAP (a mask worn over the nose) study is performed to determine the ideal pressure settings.
A technologist will greet you at approximately 7:00 pm in the waiting area of the lab and will show you to your bedroom. It is important that you arrive on time! Be sure to eat before you arrive.
Once you are settled in your bedroom, you will change into your bedclothes and complete some paperwork. Then the sleep technologist will apply electrodes and sensors which takes about an hour. Sensor attachment will be done utilizing collodion (a glue-like substance) and medical tape. Please prepare for this process by thoroughly washing your hair before your visit to our lab. After the sensors are in place, you will be able to walk around the bedroom and use the restroom unassisted.
You may go to sleep at your normal bedtime within the constraints of the lab protocols. Keep in mind, the earlier you go to bed, the more time we have to evaluate your sleep. Some patients will use CPAP during the night.
During the night, a technologist will be available to assist you as needed.
Typically, we begin waking patients at 6 am, unless a later or earlier wake up time is desirable. Please keep in mind that the equipment takes approximately 20 minutes to remove.
There is a shower available to wash up after all of the sensors have been removed.
What to do before your appointment:
In order to ensure your visit goes smoothly, please:
- Verify your insurance coverage and bring your current insurance card (see How Much Will This Cost section below)
- Obtain contact information for either your referring physician or primary care physician (PCP)
When to arrive:
Please arrive at 7 PM
If you need to cancel your overnight sleep appointment please make every effort to do so before 2 pm. Please call (650) 723-6601, during business hours of 8 am to 5 pm. If you call after office hours, please call the same main number, and leave a message detailing cancelation or late arrival (option #1). The main entry is secured at 7:00 pm; lab personnel will let you into the building after this time.
What to bring to your overnight sleep study
There are a number of key items that you should bring with you to your sleep study, including:
- Appropriate bedclothes (preferably two-piece pajamas). Nightgowns and one-piece pajamas sets are not acceptable attire, and nudity is not permitted.
- If you use a CPAP/Bilevel machine bring your current mask. If you do not know your current pressure or have been instructed by your sleep physician, bring your CPAP/Bilevel.
- Any medications you may need during the night of the study in the original medication container. Prescription and non-prescription medications are not dispensed at the Sleep Center.
- Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, brush, shampoo, etc.), and a change of clothes for the next day. The lab provides towels and bedding (but no toiletries) and there is a bathroom in each room. Showers are available in most rooms.
- Reading material, a movie to watch or a laptop (DVD players and Wi-Fi available).
- Please feel free to bring a special pillow, stuffed animal, or white noise device if desired. Children should bring favorite blankets, books, or toys.
- No animals unless medically authorized.
Where to go:
The Stanford Sleep Medicine Center is located at 450 Broadway Street, Pavilion B, Redwood City, CA 94063. The clinic is on the 2nd floor.
Our telephone number is 650-723-6601.
If you have difficulty staying alert while driving please make arrangements for transportation to and from the lab.
Who can stay with me?
For adults, limited family members/friends (1-2) are welcome to accompany you until your bedtime. Guests are not permitted to stay overnight.
For children under 18 years of age, disabled, or otherwise non-independent patients, we require and allow only one parent or caregiver to stay overnight. A recliner is available in the room for the caregiver to sleep. Sharing the bed will interfere with the sleep study.
What about food?
Please eat before you arrive. You may bring snacks and drinks for refreshments. The cafe is closed overnight, but there are vending machines are available on the ground floor.
Meal service is only provided for patients scheduled for daytime nap testing (MSLT or MWT). Please be sure to eat dinner prior to arrival at 7:00PM.
How much will this cost?
If you have an HMO plan, you must have your referral and authorization approved by your primary care physicians in advance of your scheduled appointment.
It is your responsibility to know your insurance coverage and benefits. Call the customer service number on your insurance card and ask for eligibility for benefits. You will need the CPT codes below when inquiring about coverage.