Sleep Lab Studies • Daytime Sleep Testing
Many patients benefit from one or more sleep tests that allow objective measurements to be made about a person's sleep. Sleep lab tests can be the most valuable tools for proper diagnosis and management of sleep disorders.
An overnight sleep test typically takes place at one of our area's sleep lab locations. Upon check-in, Dr. Carter or a sleep technologist will take you to your assigned room, and explain the procedure. Next comes the application of sensors and monitoring equipment; Dr. Carter or the sleep technologist will discuss with you any skin sensitivities to tape or other adhesives. The sensors will detect:
• Airflow for breathing
• Chest and abdomen movements
• Oxygen levels in the blood
• Snoring intensity
• Electrical activity of the heart (EKG) and brain (EEG)
In addition to monitoring these factors, a video recording is made, and is used mainly to evaluate unusual behaviors such as seizures or sleepwalking. Monitoring continues throughout the night as you sleep.
A Daytime Sleep Test, or Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), monitors excessive daytime sleepiness by measuring how quickly you fall asleep in a quiet environment during the day. This test is the standard tool used to diagnose narcolepsy and some other disorders. The MSLT consists of scheduled 'naps' separated by two-hour breaks. During each nap trial, you will lie quietly in bed and try to go to sleep — the test will measure how long it takes for you to fall asleep.
During the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), the activity of your brain, eyes, chin, and heart will be monitored during four or five pre-scheduled 20 minute sleep opportunities. This will let Dr. Carter know how sleepy you are and what kind of sleep you have during the day.