Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Sleep Study?
  2. What are they looking for when I have a Sleep Study?
  3. What if I can’t fall asleep?
  4. Will I need a future Sleep Study?
  5. Can I use my regular medications?
  6. Can I smoke while having my sleep study?
  7. Can somebody stay with me?
  8. How do I use the restroom during the night?
  9. Can I watch TV in bed?
  10. Can I get up earlier than 6:00am or 6:30?
  11. Can my family doctor get a copy of the results?
  12. What do I do if I don’t hear from my referring physician?
  13. How long do I have to stay at the sleep center?
  14. Do I have to arrive at 8:00PM, can’t I come later?
  15. Where can I get more information about sleep?

 

1. What is a Sleep Study?
A sleep study is an overnight procedure performed in a sleep unit/laboratory. The sleep study allows extensive monitoring of your bodies' activities while you sleep and allows a sleep specialist to determine whether any abnormalities are present in your sleeping pattern, muscle activity or breathing during the night.

2. What are they looking for when I have a Sleep Study?
We observe different variables of your sleep in order to help diagnose why you may be having trouble with your sleep. 

3. What if I can’t fall asleep?
We understand that there’s no place like home and you may not sleep in the center exactly as you would at home. Generally this does not cause a problem in obtaining a good diagnosis from your sleep study. If you are concerned, please note that we have private rooms that are quiet and dark.  If you have a pillow or blanket that may make your stay more comfortable, please feel free to bring that with you.  You may also read, watch TV, or use your personal computer prior to lights out.  It is our experience that patients are able to sleep at their sleep studies. The wires are flexible and allow a patient to roll over and change position.  Please let your technologist know if anything feels uncomfortable. He or She will be happy to fix if for you.  Bathroom breaks are permitted and not an inconvenience to the technologist.

4. Will I need a future Sleep Study?
There are sometimes reasons for further sleep studies even after a diagnosis and treatment for a sleeping disorder.  Your physician may suggest another study in the following situations:

  • To provide treatment for the already diagnosed sleep apnea
  • Significant weight gain/loss
  • Returning daytime sleepiness and/or snoring observed even with CPAP use
  • CPAP use has been ongoing for 3-5 years.  Insurance typically pays for future studies to be certain current CPAP pressures are still appropriate

5. Can I use my regular medications?
Yes, please take any medications you require prior to arriving for your study.  If you must take a medication during the course of your study, please bring it in it’s original packaging.  You will be informed if there are any exceptions. 

6. Can I smoke while having my sleep study?
To help ensure a safe and healthy environment for patients, guests and others, the use of all tobacco products is prohibited on the hospital campus.

7. Can somebody stay with me?
Family members and guests are not allowed to stay with you during your sleep study,  If you have a clear medical reason for requiring a person to stay with you, please let us know.  Please note that in these cases, the patient and guest will not be allowed to stay in the same bed. 

8. How do I use the restroom during the night?
Just let your technologist know so that they may assist you. The study will be paused and will resume after you come back from the restroom. The video camera will be switched off during the time you are in the restroom. If you may need a handicap accessible bathroom, please let us know ahead of time.

9. Can I watch TV in bed?
Yes, until it’s time for your sleep study to begin, you are welcome to watch TV.  In addition to regular television programming, we have a DVD library of short television shows and movies for your enjoyment while you are at the center.

10. Can I get up earlier than 6:00am or 6:30?
If you have a specific wake up time, please let us know ahead of time so that your technologist can be notified.

11. Can my family doctor get a copy of the results?
Yes, your referring physician will receive a copy of your sleep study report within 5 business days.

12. What do I do if I don’t hear from my referring physician?
Please feel free to follow up with your referring physician approximately a week after your study if you have not heard from him or her. 

13. How long do I have to stay at the sleep center?
You will arrive at your scheduled arrival time, around 8 PM.  Your study will be completed and you will have some time for morning preparations.  Most patients leave by 7:00 AM. 

14. Do I have to arrive at 8:00PM, can’t I come later?

We want you to have the sleep study done during your regular sleep time. If you are a shift worker or have a different timeframe for your sleep schedule, please let us know ahead of time and we will be happy to accommodate your needs.

15. Where can I get more information about sleep?

You can also ask yourself these important questions and go to the related websites:

Is my sleep doctor certified?
Your physician should be Certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  You can look of your physician at http://www.abms.org/Who_We_Help/Consumers/verifying.aspx.  All Houston Methodist Hosptial Sleep Center Physicians are Board Certified in Sleep Medicine.

Is my sleep facility accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)? 
This recognition denotes that the facility adheres to the highest standards of care for sleep disorder patients. A list of accredited sleep facilities is available at http://www.sleepcenters.org/index.aspx.  Houston Methodist Hospital Sleep Disorders Center is AASM Accredited.

Is my sleep technologist registered?
If you are referred for a sleep study or a polysomnogram, be sure to request that the technologist conducting your study is a Registered Polysomnographic.  Houston Methodist Hospital Sleep Disorders Center are Registered or Registry Eligible.