Preparing for Your Sleep Study

We would like to ensure a safe patient care environment for you, our staff, and other patients of the Sleep Disorders Center. If you have any questions about your test, need to make arrangements for special medical equipment (hospital bed, Hoyer lift), or you require special care or assistance, please contact the Sleep Disorders Center before your test so we can address any issues and make any appropriate arrangements for your care.

Preparing for your sleep study at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Sleep Disorders Center can be an easy process. Here are guidelines for what you need to do the day of your sleep study.

Day of your sleep study

You can go about your normal routine the day of your study with the following exceptions:

  • Do not drink any caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or chocolate drinks.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not take a nap.
  • If you have an illness on the day of your study and you feel it might interfere with your sleep, call the Sleep Disorders Center as soon as possible for advice on how to proceed.

Before you arrive

  • Take your normal medications unless instructed differently by your physician.
  • Take a shower or a bath and wash your hair, but do not use any bath oils, creme rinse or hair conditioner.
  • After you shower, please do not use makeup, skin lotion, any hair gel, hairspray or mousse. These items will leave the skin oily and will make it difficult for the sensors to stay on your skin.
  • Shave. Unless you have a full-grown beard or mustache, men should shave before arriving.
  • Eat a regular meal at dinnertime.
  • Pack as you would for an overnight stay at a friend's house. For the benefit of your privacy and comfort, please bring appropriate and comfortable nightclothes (such as T-shirts and shorts or pajama top and bottoms, no nightgowns please). Other patients and staff members will be in the general testing area.
  • Let family or others know they may reach you by calling the Sleep Disorders Center Laboratory number.
  • Arrange transportation home if needed. You will be ready to go home around 10:00 am on the morning after your study unless you are asked to stay for a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).

Bring the following items with you to the Sleep Center

  • Medical insurance card
  • Medications. If you take prescription medications, bring enough to get you through that night and the following day.
  • Toiletries. Shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • A favorite pillow. The pillows at the laboratory might be different from those you use at home.
  • If you like, reading material such as books or newspapers.

Arriving at the Sleep Disorders Center

For your overnight evaluation, please arrive at the Sleep Disorders Center at 8:00 pm. If you know you are going to be arriving later than this, please call the Sleep Disorders Center Laboratory.

The Sleep Disorders Center is located at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heater Road in Lebanon, New Hampshire.