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Sleep Studies

Patient Instructions

You are scheduled for an overnight sleep study (Polysomnogram) at Carteret Health Care. Prior to your appointment, someone from the hospital’s Admission Department may contact you to pre-register.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, please notify the Sleep Disorders Center at 252-808-6615 as soon as possible.

You will need to be at the hospital at 8:00 PM. On the night of your test, park and enter into the NEW Main entrance to the hospital. This will lead you to Patient Access where you will need to register. Once you have registered and filled out any necessary paperwork, you will be escorted or provided directions to the Sleep Center.

What to Bring on the Night of Your Test:

  1. Insurance cards
  2. Comfortable cotton sleepwear (Please do not wear silk)
  3. Toiletries, books, tape/tape recorder or anything else to help you relax
  4. Your pillow, if preferred
  5. Medications you normally take before bed. Please bring an updated list of all medicines you are currently taking, prescription and over-the-counter. Please take your regular medications as you normally would, unless the doctor has told you otherwise. With the exception of any medications you take for sleep or any medications that causes you to become drowsy. Sleeping medications, over the counter or prescription are to be taken once you are here at the Center and ready for bed. We recommend you bring something for a headache, an upset stomach or indigestion if you think you may need it. Diabetics, please bring your monitor and testing supplies. Because this is an outpatient study, we are not allowed to dispense any medication.

Preparing for Your Test:

  1. Shower and wash your hair before the test. Men should be freshly shaven, however, full beards are allowed.
  2. DO NOT nap on the day of your test.
  3. DO NOT apply lotion to your skin.
  4. DO NOT wear any hairpieces, wigs or weaves.
  5. DO NOT apply any hair gels, spray or oil to hair or scalp.
  6. DO NOT wear fingernail polish or acrylic nails.
  7. DO NOT use any caffeinated products after 12 noon on day of test. Please be sure to eat your evening meal prior to your sleep study.


  1. Family members are not permitted to stay in your room overnight except if pre-arranged for assistance with handicap needs.
  2. Contact your insurance representative if you have questions about coverage prior to the test. Please note that the test requires at least 6 hours of recorded time. If you request to leave early (prior to the end of test), your insurance company may deny payment.
  3. Generally, you will be awakened at 6 AM and allowed to leave. If additional testing is indicated, your test will be over by 4:30 PM. You will know by 6:30 AM, if you need to stay.
  4. You will receive a breakfast voucher worth $5 to buy breakfast in the cafeteria.

For questions about your test or to reschedule your appointment, please call 252-808-6615 (Mon. – Fri. , 8 AM – 3 PM). We look forward to providing you with very good care during your sleep test.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Studies

What is a Sleep Study?

When you sleep your body functions differently than when you are awake. Daytime activities and health risks may be affected by disrupted sleep. Your physician has ordered a diagnostic test called a sleep study. During testing the length and quality of your sleep are measured and analyzed.

What do I need to expect?

Your test will be performed in a comfortable, private room. Youll be asked to complete a short bedtime questionnaire before changing into your nightclothes. A technician will attach small recording sensors/electrodes on your scalp, face, arms and legs. These electrodes don’t hurt and you can move freely while sleeping. You will not be given any type of sleep aid unless ordered by your physician.

You can read or watch TV until you’re ready for bed. An intercom will allow you to contact the technician to assist you with any needs. The technician will be observing you while you sleep through a small TV camera. This is necessary to record any movement during sleep.

What is recorded while I sleep?

  1. EEG or brain wave activity
  2. Eye movement
  3. Muscle movement
  4. Breathing pattern and effort
  5. Blood oxygen levels

Will I receive additional testing?

Occasionally, an additional test called a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) may be necessary. If indicated, you’ll be asked to stay during the morning and afternoon and take several naps during this time. The technician will awaken you at the end of each nap. Generally, all testing will be completed by 4:30 PM. Should you be required to stay for additional testing, breakfast and lunch will be provided to you. If you’re unable to stay for further testing, please notify the technician in advance.