The test(s) for which you have been scheduled will include measures of brain activity, muscle activity, breathing, and heart rate. Depending on the nature of your study, other measures may also be obtained. All recordings are performed in one of the Institute’s private patient rooms, which are comfortably furnished to recreate a home bedroom environment. All of the tests performed are painless. Recording devices are placed only on the surface of the skin. Small electrodes will be applied to the surface of your scalp, face, chest and lower legs for recording of sleep patterns. Airflow, heart rate, chest movement, abdominal movement, and oxygen level will also be monitored. Some people, especially those with sensitive skin, may experience minor skin irritation from the paste and/or cleansing solution used to apply and remove the electrodes. At times, it may be necessary for the technician to move the blanket/covers while you sleep to assure clear visibility of limb and/or chest movements. Your sleep will be videotaped to aid in your diagnosis. You may also be photographed while awake so that the physician can have documentation of your body size and shape, and the structure of your upper airway. The recording equipment used to measure sleep is very sensitive and can be damaged if not handled properly. We ask that you allow the technical staff to apply and remove all recording equipment. Patients are responsible for breakage due to mishandling. Insurance does not cover these costs. Due to our sanitary precaution policy, all patients are required to change into scrubs when they arrive and place their personal items into a plastic bag. The Sleep Disorders Institute will provide you with a set of scrubs to wear to sleep and a plastic bag for your personal items. The scrubs must be returned following your test(s), or you will be charged for the purchase of these items.


Pack a small bag with all of the items you will need for an overnight stay away from home. Keep in mind that you will be monitored all night by both male and female technicians. Please pack appropriate underclothing so that you will feel comfortable in the presence of technicians during the sleep study. Do not bring valuables with you. We supply soap, shampoo, towels, a blow drier, bed linens, and pillows. In the morning it will be necessary to shower and wash your hair to facilitate the removal of the sensor paste from your hair and skin. Pack your prescription medication. The Institute does not stock or dispense any prescription or nonprescription medication. Those undergoing a Multiple Sleep Latency Test or Maintenance of Wakefulness test. You will be permitted to walk around the Institute’s public area and the recording sensors will remain attached throughout the day. You may want to bring a laptop books, magazines, etc. to occupy yourself between test periods. The Institute does have free Wi-Fi available. There is a public television area as well. Use of the Institute’s office telephones is prohibited.


The Institute does NOT provide meal service. Patients scheduled for Multiple Sleep Latency Tests will be at the Institute until approximately 5:00 PM. They are encouraged to bring their own food for breakfast and lunch. Caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea and soda) are to be avoided. A refrigerator and microwave oven are available for use. Other options include ordering from a nearby restaurant, deli or convenience store. For those patients opting to order in food, the Institute has selected menus from local restaurants. Patients are responsible for all food charges and tips to the restaurant’s delivery personnel.


Unless otherwise directed by a physician from the Sleep Disorders Institute, do not alter your sleep schedule during the week prior to your study. This helps to ensure that your night in the laboratory is representative of one of your typical nights of sleep. Upon arriving at the sleep laboratory you will be asked to record the medications you take, your meal times, and your sleep schedule for the night prior to the study. In addition you will be asked to sign a consent form and authorization to release medical records form if you want copies of your study results sent to your doctor, or if you want a copy for yourself.


  • DO make sure your skin and hair are clean before you arrive at the laboratory. This improves the ability of our technical staff to comfortably apply and remove recording electrodes. Shampoo and DO NOT apply oil, gel or conditioner to your hair.
  • DO NOT use alcohol or non-prescription drugs (vitamins, supplements, aspirin etc) on the day of your study. Consult with your Sleep Disorders Institute physician regarding the use of prescription medication on the day of your study.
  • DO NOT drink coffee or consume other caffeinated food or beverages (soda or tea) after 12 noon on the day of your study.
  • DO NOT eat after 7:00 PM on the evening of your study.
  • If you develop a cold or respiratory infection, DO contact the Institute to see if your study should be rescheduled. Women who have severe premenstrual symptoms should consider rescheduling if these symptoms disturb their sleep.
  • DO arrive at the Institute at your scheduled time. If you expect to be delayed, please contact the Institute so that a member of our staff can advise you or assist in rescheduling you. Call our 212/994-5100 before 5 PM or call 212/994-4565 after 6:00 PM if you expect to be delayed. There is a $100 fee for late cancellations and missed appointments, which is not covered by your health insurance plan.
  • Family members, friends, and/or companions may only accompany patients to the reception area on the night of the scheduled testing. Unless the patient is a minor, or there is medical necessity, under no circumstances will anyone be permitted entry to the testing area. Visitors must leave once overnight or daytime nap testing has begun.