About the Tests

Sleep is a complex process. It involves many parts of the brain, and it has significant effects on a variety of bodily functions. Testing for sleep disorders therefore involves recording of your brain wave activity, heart rate and rhythm, muscle activity, and other variables that serve as indicators of sleep pathology. Depending on the nature of your study, other measures may also be obtained. All recordings are performed in one of SDI’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 levels 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 ensure clear visibility of limb and/or chest movements.

Your sleep may be videotaped to aid in your diagnosis. You also may 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.

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