Obtaining clear signals from the sensors is important. Avoid oily skin moisturizers or hair preparations. Men should shave prior to arrival. It is not necessary to remove beards or mustaches. Nails with heavy artificial coloring can make it hard to record oxygen levels, so it may need to be removed from one finger. If you wish bringing your own pillow from home may make the testing experience more comfortable and familiar.
- Bedrooms - Each person has his or her own private bedroom. The beds are queen size select comfort sleep number beds for adjustable comfort. Every effort is made to maintain a temperature conducive to sleep. Each room is quiet, sound-attenuated.
- Bathroom - The bathroom is just a few steps away from your bedroom. Disconnection from the recording equipment is quite easy. It is not necessary to remove and then re-apply the sensors in order to do so. A shower with towels, etc., is available for use after your test, if you wish to do so before your departure.
- Assistance - If you require any special assistance during your test, please feel free to make your needs known to the technologist. Although serious problems with the testing process are unusual, it is important to try and solve whatever problem you might have in order to optimize the accuracy of the results.
- Caffeine - Caffeine being the stimulant that it is may sometimes interfere with the sleep testing process. Each person’s situation is different, however, so you should inquire about this if there is any doubt. Generally, caffeine in any of its various forms should be discontinued before testing if you are undergoing evaluation for narcolepsy, insomnia, if you are a light sleeper, or if you tend to sleep poorly the first night away from home when you travel. Those individuals having testing for sleep apnea usually don’t need to make changes. Remember to taper off your caffeine in order to avoid a withdrawal headache or daytime sleepiness - don’t stop abruptly!
- Alcohol - Though alcohol has a reputation for helping sleep, in fact it usually has a negative effect. Its continued consumption may have an impact on sleep testing results. For most evaluations it will not be necessary for you to change your patterns if you have a steady one. Abstain the day of testing if your consumption is just occasional, however. Intoxication is not appropriate for any testing session and is important to avoid during the week before testing in any event. As always, remember not to drive to the laboratory the night of testing unless you can do so completely safely. Should alcohol discontinuation be deemed necessary, a gradual tapering off is important in order to avoid unpleasant - or even dangerous - withdrawal reactions for persons with daily consumption. Every individual undergoing narcolepsy assessments must be free of alcohol before testing.
- Tobacco Products - Like other health care facilities, the PSP is completely smoke-free. The chemicals in smoking and other tobacco products may adversely affect your sleep and the testing process. If you must continue smoking just prior to or during the sleep testing, you may do so just outside the laboratory. We recognize how difficult this may be and will make every effort to accommodate your particular situation.
- Medications - Medication being taken may affect the testing process and polysomnography results. It is important that you NOT discontinue any prescription medications before testing, without carefully discussing this with the prescribing clinician or doctor. It is relatively unusual that you will actually need to stop something. It is particularly crucial not to stop medicine being given for diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, blood thinners or anticoagulants, or seizures. The disorder where this issue is most apt to come up is in the assessment of the daytime sleepiness disorder narcolepsy. It is important to be aware that many so-called over-the-counter, non-prescription drugs or herbal preparations may influence sleep. The decongestants are a particular concern as they are often stimulating. Many antihistamines, on the other hand, are often sedating; they may or may not be a concern depending upon the circumstances. At times these agents may even be helpful obtaining a valuable recording. Please review these issues with our clinic staff. Remember to bring any medications, either prescription or over-the-counter, that you routinely take, or may need to take, with you to the laboratory.
- Food - Meals are not provided in the PSP though beverages are available. Bringing snacks or foods which meet your particular needs is encouraged. A refrigerator and microwave oven are available right in the laboratory and may be accessed conveniently at any time during your testing.
- Sleep Attire - Pajamas are recommended. Men may wear shorts if they prefer. For women, nightgowns may be worn though are less convenient than pajamas from the standpoint of sensor application and movement. Remember that you should bring your own sleep attire; this helps to ensure a more representative test.